All Things Considered did a piece tonight about the U-17 U.S. Women’s team consolation of the Haitian goalie after their 9-0 victory over the Haitian team. Many of the Haitian players lives’ had been upended by the January 12th earthquake. The goalie had lost her parents in the earthquake, and most of the team members had similarly lost family members.
Though obviously the circumstances and impact were quite different, I was reminded in reading about this of famous “peace match” played in Haiti in 2004 by the Brazilian team, which was used as an opportunity to try and put an end to violent political conflict in the capital: those who brought a gun to surrender to the authorities got into the game for free. Brazil defeated Haiti in the match, but it was in a certain way a national victory for Haiti, a country packed with ardent fans of the Brazilian team. Indeed the footage here of Haitians greeting the Brazilian team, escorted by UN troops, is amazing.