PORT-AU-PRINCE — Arcahaie FC and Violette Athletic Club will look to keep the Caribbean Club Championship trophy on Haitian soil as they play in the competition in the Dominican Republic that starts today.
To the players, winning the tournament will be a chance to restore some of the pride that has been lost since the country plunged into chaos a few years ago.
“We are going to represent the country proudly, at this moment of celebration of our flag,” Arcahaie FC coach David Chedson Thelemaque told The Haitian Times. “In these troubled times, we will defend our country, soccer can help send another picture of the country.”
Cavaly Association Sportive was the first Haitian club to win the competition last year. Cavaly’s forward Dorvil Gamael won the top scorer, best player and best young player awards. The club’s goalkeeper Emmanuel Saint Felix won the tournament’s best goalkeeper award.
The team of the city of the flag, Arcahaie FC, also called “feux rouges” or Red Fire will face Dominican team Atletico Vega Real on May 13 and Jamaican team Waterhouse on May 16 in the group stages. Meanwhile, Violette will take on Dominican side Cibao FC on May 13 and Jamaican club Cavalier SC on May 15.
Thelemaque, who is familiar with this competition, traveled with 21 players, and is counting on each of them to give their best, he said.
Violette qualified for the Caribbean Club Championship because it won the 2020 Haitian National Championship and Arcahaie because it was the runner up.
Violette and Arcahaie will play in the Caribbean Club Championship without having played a league game since July 2021 because the Haitian league has been inactive since then.