Nostalgia: Haiti’s 1974 World Cup journey

Haiti has only ever participated in one World Cup – in 1974 – and it was an eventful experience to say the least. Controversial qualifying, beating the great Dino Zoff, failed drug tests and a maverick president behind it all…

Picture credit for this article’s featured image: Forza27.

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Haiti captain Wilner Nazaire (right) shakes hands with his Italian equivalent Giacinto Facchetti. (pic credit: Forza27)

*I thought with the World Cup being on and all, why not write up a tournament-themed nostalgic piece documenting Haiti’s experiences at the ’74 finals? 

*Below is an introduction to my piece, the whole thing can be read on the excellent http://www.camporetro.com/

As the final whistle blew inside the Stade Sylvio Cator, Port-au-Prince in December 1973, the Haitian players jumped for joy. The stadium exploded with rapturous applause, the supporters wildly celebrating with their heroes. Haiti had just beaten Guatemala 2-1 and thus qualified for their first ever World Cup finals.

It was the team’s fourth straight win and it meant that they topped the qualifying group regardless of ensuing results. Trinidad and Tobago and Mexico just fell short as the home advantage and vociferous support massively played into Haiti’s hands.

Haiti’s road to the 1974 World Cup wasn’t entirely straightforward and devoid of controversy, though.

Read the rest of my article on the Campo Retro site.

By Nathan Carr

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Twitter feed @caribbeanftbl

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