Monday, December 6, 2010

Group 4. Haiti were the obvious outsider, just lucky to reach the World Cup finals. Among the midgets, the Caribians should stay in the middle – unlike Australia, Haiti was not a democracy – it was a crazy state, similar to Zaire, but unlike the Zairian dictator, the Haitian one had no fantastic dreams about the country’s football team. Haitian expectations were more similar to those of the Australians – great to be at the finals, but no more. Similar, but not the same, and there was similarity with Zaire too – by 1974 the old dictator Dr. Francois Duvalier – ‘Papa Doc’ – was already dead for three years, and his son Jean-Francois Duvalier – ‘Bebe Doc’ - heapily ruled the poor island. Baby Doc was barely 23 years old – a good age for playing football – and dictatorial ambitions tempted him. Unlike Mobutu Sese-Seko, Baby Doc did not see Haitian national team as a vehicle of showing country’s grandness to the world – he considered joining the team instead. And who can tell a dictator that he cannot play? But Baby Doc eventually discovered better ways to please himself and decided not to play for Haiti. Generous to the end, Baby Doc did not order the team to return from West Germany with the World Cup either.
Politics and expectation aside, Haiti still held the middle ground – it was not entirely black team, like Zaire, but a negative of Australia: the Aussies were white, with one aboriginal (black) player. Haiti were black, with one white player. The Aussies were almost all born outside Australia and Zairians were all native – Haitians were all native born, but their ancestors were brought to the island from Africa. In terms of racism the Aussies represented racist attitudes; Zaire was always condamning racism – Haiti had no such problem, if Papa Doc is to be believed: once he stated that Haiti is the whitest country in the world (since the blood of everybody born there was mixed with the blood of white slave owners in the past, Papa Doc’s argument goes. Quite rightly too, given the history of the island.) And going down to the very mundane matters, Haiti did not have players who started their footballing days in European clubs as kids, like the Aussis, and unlike Zaire did not depend solely on home grown talent – among the midgets, Haiti was the only team featuring foreign based professional players. Not big names, but still playing abroad – and if the striker Roger Saint-Vil modestly hailed from Archibald FC (Trinidad and Tobago), the defenseman Wilner Nazaire was a heavy – he played for Valenciennes in the 2nd French Division.
And that is all about Haiti, for this team was unknown, nobody expected them to be any kind of sensation, and nobody paid attention to clear outsider. When players’ lists were made, Haiti contributed to unusual numbering in 1974, modestly as well – their reserve goalie had number 2.
Coach - Antoine TassyNo.
Pos.Player DoB/Age Caps Club
1 GK Henri Françillon 26 May 1946 (aged 28)Victory FC
2 GK Wilner Piquant 12 October 1949 (aged 24) Violette
3 DF Arsène Auguste 3 February 1951 (aged 23) Racing Club Haïtien
4 DF Fritz André 18 September 1946 (aged 27) Violette
5 DF Serge Ducosté 4 February 1944 (aged 30) Aigle Noir
6 DF Pierre Bayonne 11 June 1949 (aged 25) Violette
7 MF Philippe Vorbe 14 September 1947 (aged 26) Violette
8 MF Jean-Claude Désir 8 August 1946 (aged 27) Aigle Noir
9 MF Eddy Antoine 27 August 1949 (aged 24) Racing Club Haïtien
10 MF Guy François 18 September 1947 (aged 26) Violette
11 FW Guy Saint-Vil 21 October 1942 (aged 31) Racing Club Haïtien
12 MF Ernst Jean-Joseph 11 June 1948 (aged 26) Violette
13 DF Serge Racine 9 October 1951 (aged 22) Aigle Noir
14 DF Wilner Nazaire 30 March 1950 (aged 24) Valenciennes
15 FW Roger Saint-Vil 8 December 1949 (aged 24) Archibald FC
16 FW Fritz Leandré 13 March 1948 (aged 26) Racing Club Haïtien
17 MF Joseph-Marion Leandré 9 May 1945 (aged 29) Racing Club Haïtien
18 FW Claude Barthélemy 9 May 1945 (aged 29) Racing Club Haïtien
19 DF Jean-Herbert Austin 23 February 1950 (aged 24) Violette
20 FW Emmanuel Sanon 25 June 1951 (aged 22) Don Bosco
21 DF Wilfried Louis 25 October 1949 (aged 24) Don Bosco
22 GK Gérard Joseph 22 October 1949 (aged 24) Racing Club Haïtien
Bottom, left to right: Oriolle (?) – masseur, Vorbe, Francillon, Nazaire, Ernst Jean-Joseph, Andre, Gerard Joseph, Racine.
Middle: Tassy – coach, Wilner (?), Antoine (?), Desir, Sanon, Joseph-Marion Leandre, Roger Saint-Vil, Ducoste, Auguste, Lagraue (?).
Top: Hiacint (?) – assistant coach, Francois, Bayonne, Barthelemy, Guy Saint-Vil, Formoise (?), Fritz Leandre, Louis.
Apparently, Emmanuel Sanon was the star of team Haiti in the absence of the real star Bebe Doc Duvalier. One may wonder now much better Haiti would have been with her dictator on the pitch, but as a compensation the team got brand new Adidas kit. Oh, great innocent days those were… nobody knew how many caps each Haitian player had in 1974. Not even FIFA. And nobody knows today either.