Laszlo Balogh / Associated Press
The men’s national soccer team in Belize had their bus stopped by an armed group of Haitian insurgents as they drove to Adriana Garcia from ESPN to their hotel in Port-Au-Prince on Monday ahead of a World Cup qualifier against Haiti on Thursday in Port-Au-Prince.
The team traveled from the Toussaint Louverture Airport to his hotel with a small police escort when an armed motorcycle gang surrounded the bus.
“Despite the four-person police escort, the team bus was stopped by a riot of insurgents with assault rifles on motorcycles, and police escorts had to negotiate with them so that the team bus can continue its journey to the hotel.” Belize Football Association (FFB) said in a statement. “We are pleased to announce that our ‘jaguars’, although shaken by the terrible experience, are safe in their hotel.”
The FFB pressed “Disappointment and disgust “ with the situation as team captain Deon McCauley called it “a moment of intense fear”
“I am glad that everyone is safe and I recommend that you be brave,” he said in a statement. “Let’s continue to stick together and please make the best decisions when it comes to the team.”
The FFB said it was working with FIFA and CONCACAF is trying to accommodate the team in safer conditions. Garcia reported that Haiti’s Football Association (FHF) had met with the FFB “to express their solidarity and offer their support. ”
Belize is trying to qualify for its first World Cup appearance while Haiti is trying to qualify for its second World Cup appearance, which last reached the World Cup in 1974.