Soccer is easily the most popular sport internationally, and Haiti is one of the many countries that consider football, as it’s known there, a national sport. There is no contest—it is the most played and followed sport in the country. Basketball comes in second, but it is still far behind in terms of popularity compared to soccer.
Haiti has a domestic football league with three divisions and around 140 clubs. Football activities for the national team and domestic leagues are governed by the Federation Haitienne de Football.
What You Need To Know About Haiti’s National Team
Haiti first attempted to enter the FIFA World Cup in 1934, but the team did not qualify. Since then, it has only qualified for the 1974 World Cup that took place in Germany, but it was eliminated in the group stages. Haiti have not qualified for the tournament since.
The Haiti national soccer team fared better in the CCF Championships and the CONCACAF Championship, however. In the 1957 CCCF championships, Haiti came out as champions,winning all four matches played. It also came fourth in 1961,winning three and losing three matches.
In the CONCACAF championships, a team from Haiti came first in 1973. The 70s were considered a highlight in Haiti football history, but it didn’t last. In the last tournament of 2019, the country lost in the semi-finals.
The national team consists of players from numerous clubs across the globe, from MLS in America to Primeira Liga in Portugal.
Domestic Football in Haiti
The domestic league in Haiti is known as Ligue Haitienne and was established in 1937. The 1st division consists of the Top 20 teams in the country, competing each year for the national title. The two top teams also receive a chance to compete in the CONCACAF Champions League.
The team with the most championships domestically is Racing CH with 14 titles since 1937.
The two lower divisions have 120 teams, and these move up and down within the divisions based on the performances each year.
Where Can You Play Soccer in Haiti?
Since soccer is Haiti’s national sport, you will find it played everywhere, whether it is out on the streets or in the parks. It is common to find soccer fields in any green spaces, and most of the time children will be playing together and harnessing their football skills.
There are also numerous football academies that help the youth develop these skills, such as FC Shana and The Black Pearls FC.
Soccer continues to bring a lot of pride and attention to Haiti. While the national team hasn’t performed exceptionally well in the FIFA World Cup, Haiti continues to shine in leagues around the globe. The success has prompted the Federation Haitienne de Football to invest in academies to develop more players, and the sport thrives even after the devastating natural disasters in Haiti over the last few decades.
When Haitians aren’t playing soccer, they pass the time watching it or playing casino games on platforms, such as 918Kiss. It’s a great place to enjoy the thrill of both real-life sports and other leisure activities.