As part of the playoffs of the 19th edition of the Americas Cup FIBA 2021, the largest international basketball tournament in the Americas that takes place in Paramaribo, capital of Suriname from 24 to 30 June 2018, Haiti after 37 years of absence on the international scene the Haitian selection, under the leadership of the American coach, Matthew Brase has made a strong comeback in the world of international basketball.
After 4 straight victories and qualifying for the semi-finals, Haiti were hopeful to see themselves in the final and win the title :
Haiti – Barbados [78-62]
Haiti – Monserrat [110 -50]
Haiti – Antigua [76 -59]
Haiti – Bermuda [96-60]
But, within 12 hours of its semi-final match against Suriname, the International Amateur Basketball Federation (FIBA) decided to disqualify the Haitian selection from the FiBA Americup 2021 tournament, alleging that 9 of the players in the Haitian selection were born outside Haiti on American soil, invoking Article 3.21 of the Regulations.
A situation that raised the indignation of the Haitian delegation and the Haitian Basketball Federation (FHB) which in a letter acknowledging the decision of FIBA, informs FIBA “of its decision to appeal to the Court of Sporting Arbitration” underlining that “The arguments will be presented so that the best decision for the development of the sport in Haiti is favored,” affirming to FIBA “all the players of our list are Haitians in their own right and are not naturalized.”
Alph Ulysse, Vice President of the FHB, evokes a form of persecution against his team recalling “a person born of a Haitian parent automatically obtains Haitian nationality, regardless of his country of birth” which does not seem to take into account FIBA.
In addition, a few hours after Haiti’s disqualification from the rest of Americup’s playoffs, FIBA forced our national basketball team to play a title match against Saint Lucia on Friday, threatening the FHB with a fine of 25,000 US dollars and an exclusion from all competitions of FIBA for 5 years, if Haiti refused to play this game.
Match that Haiti played and won against St. Lucia [100 – 62]