The arrival of the FIFA World Cup™ Trophy Tour by Coca-Cola in Haiti represents another way in which the unifying power of football has helped to bring joy to the Caribbean island’s people in the most challenging of times. As anticipation rises ahead of the visit FIFA.com takes a look at some of the support that football has provided to the Haitian people over the past 13 years.

Over the course of the three-day tour stop, fans of the game will be able to experience several special events planned by Coca-Cola and FIFA, including a close up view of the FIFA World Cup Trophy. On the first day, fans will have the opportunity to enjoy performances by local DJs and dancers, and participate in interactive games, adding to the festive atmosphere that always surrounds the most sought-after symbol of world football. Guests will then enjoy some state of the art holographic football animations, before moving on to the Trophy room for a chance to have their pictures taken with the Trophy.

The following day a special football game featuring two local All-Stars teams will be held at the National Stadium, which had its artificial turf installed with the support received from a Special Projects fund by FIFA in 2011. Local artist Mika Ben will perform the National anthem ahead of the match, and the Trophy will be showcased for the crowd to see.

FIFA support for Haiti
This is not the first time that FIFA, its Partners and the Haitian Football Association (FHF) have played an active role in football development in the country. In 2000 FIFA helped to construct Haiti’s first technical centre, and to date a total of 18 FIFA assisted projects have been implemented in the country, in three main areas of development projects, technical assistance and PERFORMANCE programme activities.

Around the world, FIFA has helped and continues to help build member association headquarters, training academies and artificial and grass pitches to ensure that national associations are equipped with the basic resources and infrastructure they need to carry out their work. Haiti has benefited from such development projects, receiving two football pitches and two projects contributing to the building and expansion of their national technical centre.

In addition, in 2010 in the aftermath of the catastrophic events, it was also the recipient of a Special Projects Fund, amounting to USD $4m which has been set aside by FIFA in order to finance various football development projects in the country, including the renovation of the National Stadium.

In addition to the development projects, FIFA also provides assistance to the FHF through FIFA’s PERFORMANCE Programme Activities and Technical Support which enables the member associations to actively improve their structures, stakeholder capacities, work processes, revenues and image with FIFA’s support in the form of expertise, advice and specific financial assistance. The latest PERFORMANCE Organisational Review and Leadership Retreat mission was successfully completed earlier this month in Haiti (18 October) by FIFA’s development officers and experts.

Not forgetting the technical aspects of the game, FIFA also arranges an extensive programme of courses and technical activities to educate and train instructors, coaches, referees, doctors, managers and journalists. Haiti has now successfully completed 10 such programs, with the focus of their development on Women’s Football and Grassroots accounting for 32.4 per cent of their overall expenditure from the FIFA Financial Assistance Program, showing their clear commitment to developing all aspects of the game in all disciplines. The latest edition of the Women’s Football development courses took place in June 2012 and lasted for a total of seven days.

Yorke excited by Haiti visit
FIFA ambassador, former Manchester United player and Trinidad and Tobago captain, Dwight Yorke has been accompanying the trophy through many of its stops in the region. “I was delighted to see that the trophy tour will be visiting Haiti” said Yorke. “FIFA has placed a huge focus on using football as a tool for development in this country, especially since the shattering earthquake in 2010. I’m looking forward to accompanying the trophy to Haiti and witnessing the joy that the visit will bring to the local people.”

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