Haitian Men’s Amputee Soccer Team competing in World Cup in Argentina

Haitians fall 2-1 to England in first match

FRISCO, Texas (Oct. 18, 2010) – After a long and tiring trip, the Haitian Men’s
Amputee Soccer Team arrived in Argentina on Oct. 15, ready to continue
their preparation for the World Cup of Amputee Soccer. The team is
staying at the training facility of the Viale Football Club in Viale,
Argentina. Following their arrival, the team indulged in a reception
dinner with the English and Angolan delegation.  
 
The opening ceremony for the Amputee World Cup took place Oct. 16 at the
Soccer Stadium in Crespo. The Haitians received a major ovation as they
walked into the ceremony wearing their national uniforms donated by FC
Dallas. The opening ceremony included a parade of all participating
teams wearing their national uniforms and speeches given by the World
Cup organizing committee, local dignitaries and amputee soccer founder,
American Don Bennett. In commemoration of the 30th anniversary of the
founding of amputee soccer, Bennett offered the Golden Foot trophy for
the player who scores the most goals in the tournament.  
 
The opening ceremony concluded with the first match of the Amputee World
Cup, where powerhouse Argentina defeated first time tournament entrant
Japan 8-0. For the recently established Haiti amputee soccer team, it
provided the first opportunity to view an actual amputee soccer game.
 
“I was totally concentrating on the game,” Haitian striker Donald Renfort said.
 
Renfort came to join the Haiti national soccer team through an
interesting set of circumstances. International Institute of SPORT
President Dr. Fred Sorrells was walking through a Port-au-Prince
neighborhood in June when he was mistaken by Haitian- American Thecy
Faustin for an American Catholic priest.
 
After clarifying his identity as a therapeutic recreation specialist,
Sorrells explained his mission of inviting amputees to a tryout session
for the Haitian Amputee Soccer Team. Faustin excitedly exclaimed that
her nephew, Renfort, was playing  for a major soccer club in Haiti when
he was struck by a car and lost his leg three years prior.

“I thought my life was finished after the accident,” Renfort said. “Thanks to God and Dr. Sorrells, I have my life back again.”

Haiti’s
first game took place Sunday evening at 9:30 p.m. local time against
England. The Haitians held England to a 0-0 draw through halftime, but
England netted two second half goals to claim victory, 2-1 over the
Haitians. Haiti’s next match is today at 8 p.m. versus Angola. Haiti
will play their final game of the tournament against Russia on Tuesday
at 8 p.m.

The team is still in need of donations to support the transport of the
Haitian Amputee Soccer Team. People and organizations wishing to
contribute to the cause can donate at www.iisport.org/help/donate.html or by calling (214) 674-6196. Media wishing to speak to Haitian
Amputee Soccer Team officials are welcome to contact media@iisport.org.