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

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.