• Wednesday Jan 12, 2011

    Haiti U-17 women given FIFA Fair Play Award

    ZURICH, Switzerland -- The Haitian under-17 women's team that competed in the CONCACAF championship less than two months after an earthquake killed an estimated 230,000 in their homeland received the FIFA Fair Play Award Monday at the international federation's annual gala.

    Despite at least 52 aftershocks over the next 12 days, the team was able to recover and arrive at the CONCACAF Under-17 Championship in Alajuela, Costa Rica for the start of the tournament on March 10, where it allowed a goal less than two minutes after the opening kickoff and was routed 9-0 by the United States in its first match.The entire team, which was training in the capital of Port-au-Prince when the magnitude 7.0 quake struck January 12 at 4:53 p.m., was left homeless and goalkeeper Madeline Delice, who was in net for all three of the side's victories in qualifying, was orphaned.

    Goalkeeper Alexandra Coby slumped to the ground in tears after the final whistle, and was comforted by her coaches, then U.S. counterpart Bryane Haeberlin and finally the entire American team.

    "The team showed great courage to make it to the final round of the CONCACAF qualifiers for the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup 2010, where their performance was applauded by the fans despite their eventual elimination," the FIFA.com Web site said in announcing the award.

    The Haitian women went on to lose its remaining two group games, falling to Costa Rica 2-0 and fellow Caribbean qualifier Cayman Islands 1-0.

    Captain Hayana Jean-Francois, who scored four goals in Haiti's qualifying campaign for the CONCACAF Championship, was on hand at the FIFA Gala to accept the award on behalf of her teammates.

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