Haiti Mens Basketball Team FIBA Disqualification

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     Haiti has not competed in an international basketball competition in over 37 years. I must admit when I heard our National anthem it made me feel proud. That was the day that I felt our country was heading in a different direction of progression and rebuilding.

 
     Haiti’s national basketball team made its official comeback beating national teams from Antigua, Barbados, Montserrat, Barbuda, and Bermuda at The International Basketball Federation (FIBA). According to an article in the Miami Herald written by BY JACQUELINE CHARLES July 5, 2018 “The undefeated run made news and gave us hope. All hopes of a championship season, however, it was quickly dashed. Twelve hours before the semifinals, the Haiti national basketball team was booted from the competition by FIBA Americas, which cited its rule governing nationality. Stating that only one player on a national team can be a naturalized citizen. This rule also stated that to be deemed as a naturalized citizen it has to have been done prior to the player(s) 16th birthday.

 
     It states that nine of the 11 players the team took to Suriname were born outside of Haiti. My question is what is the definition of a true Haitian. On a side note it states that the if the players' parents are Haitian under Haiti's law, that entitles them to a Haitian passport, and they are not considered as a naturalized Haitian. Prior to entering the league the organization used the Haiti’s law of constitution deciding that the players are in fact Haitians. FIBA however, decided for us as to who or who isn’t Haitian. We the Haitian community feel that FIBA cannot make that decision for us. If their mother is Haitian, their father is Haitian, that should make them Haitian as well. 

 
     FIBA’s decision has disrupted the teams chemistry as well as their morale, and for that I believe this matter should be investigated accordingly. Why now? Why did it take for the team to play five games prior to being disqualified? If it is a documentation issue I feel it should have been verified prior to playing their first game. I believe we were targeted because they didn’t think Haiti had a team that was capable of winning. My question is if we performed poorly during the season would we still get disqualified under the violations of nationality? 

 
     I am asking everyone to support me in this cause. I am asking for FIBA to overturn its decision and allow the players to finish out this season. We currently hold an undefeated title in. As a fan I would love to see how far we can get and how much we can achieve. My son wants to represent Haiti one day in the FIBA competition we would like to be clear as to what the rules and regulations are?  Such policies must be implemented before hand so we can follow the proper accords to ensure that this doesn’t happen again in the future.

     To our Haitian government is it a dual citizenship matter? If so, what can we do to obtain it and what is the age restrictions or the timeframe needed. By setting these guidelines in advance it will allow the future generations the opportunity to start working on the expectations so they will have a chance to blossom their skills. We need realistic laws in place because the majority of the Haitian population live abroad. These regulations will allow parents to start implement them so that there are no setbacks. Our children and their children deserve a fair chance to represent us Haitians just like any other country in the league. The upcoming generation is the future of Haiti, let’s give them that opportunity to blossom without any scrutiny. #justiceforhaitisnationalbasketball #movingforward

 
Reference:

https://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/world/americas/article214216699.html

 
Haiti Men’s National Team Roster

#0 Hernst LaRoche – PG

#4 David Jean-Baptiste – SG

#5 Jeffry Coby – PF

#6 Jeantal Cylla -SF

#9 Jean “Frantz” Massenat-PG

#11 Farnold Degand – PG

#18 Antoine Joseph – SG

#20 Clide Geffrard Jr – SF

#22 Marvin Dominique – PF

#24 Kervin Bristol – C

#25 Carrell Joseph – SF

 



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