After going undefeated and winning 4 games in the FIBA AmeriCup Caribbean 2021 Pre-Qualifier, FIBA decided to disqualify the Haiti National Team due to discrepancies with the player’s nationality less than 12 hours before the start of the semifinals.
Based on our conversation with team officials, it appears the disqualification is due to 8 of the players obtaining their Haitian passports after the age of sixteen. According to FIBA, the players do not have Haitian nationality since they were born in the United States. Friday afternoon, the team played their 5th game against St.Lucia and won, but the win and all their previous wins will not count.
According to the vice-president of the FHB, Alph Ulysse, this decision is like a persecution because according to the Haitian Constitution, someone automatically gets Haitian nationality as soon as his parents are born in Haiti, and finds absurd this choice of the FIBA after the four big wins of the national team.
The president of the Haitian Basketball Federation is holding a meeting Friday with the organizing members to show his indignation over this decision and contest this ruling. The officials sent out a letter to FIBA which reads as follow,
The FHB acknowledges receipt of FIBA’s correspondence dated June 28, 2018, four days after the official opening of the competition, whereby informing us of the disqualification of the Haitian national team for essentially, non-compliance with the article 3.21 dealing with player eligibility and particularly nationality. The FHB acknowledges the decision of FIBA and wishes to inform you of its decision to appeal to the Sports Arbitration Court. The arguments will be presented so that the best decision for the development of the sport in Haiti is favored.
We have turned the eyes and hearts of millions of Haitians to our cause and we invite them to continue to support us in our efforts to promote and develop our youth through basketball. It is important to note that all the players on our player roster are Haitians in their own right and are not naturalized. We thank the Haitian Government, the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Civic Action, the Haitian press in general and our sponsor, the Sogebank Group, for their support.
UPDATE: FIBA disqualified the undefeated Haitian National Basketball Team Thursday after game 4, ordered them to continue playing Friday or get fined $25,000/Banned 5Years. The team is now 5-0 but their wins don’t count.