The Belize Football Federation has expressed its “disappointment and disgust” after a bus taking the national soccer team to their hotel in Haiti was held up by an armed gang on Monday, March 22, 2021, for their schedule 2022 World Cup qualifiers.
The incident occurred on the way to the team hotel from the airport in Port-au-Prince ahead of Thursday’s match at Stade Sylvio Cator on Paramount.
Police escorting the team were forced to negotiate with the gang to allow the bus to proceed to the hotel.
Captain Deon McCauley described the incident as “a moment of intense fear”.
An image posted on the Federation’s (FFB) Facebook page showed the gang on motorbikes, wearing masks and carrying weapons.
In a statement, the FFB said: “The Football Federation of Belize takes this time to express its disappointment and disgust at an unfortunate incident faced by the Jaguars as the team was headed from the airport to the hotel in Haiti.
The FFB added the safety of the team was its “top priority” and had contacted FIFA and the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (Concacaf) over moving them to a safer environment.
In a statement, FIFA said it and Concacaf were “monitoring the matter in coordination with the football associations of Haiti and Belize.”