Haiti newest member of IFAF

The game of American Football keeps growing and the International Federation of American Football has now added the Caribbean nation of Haiti to its list.

Although still at a grass roots level with flag football still the main component of the programs, with 15 high school teams, the Haitian American Football Federation, HAFF, is expanding.

The HAFF was originally formed by Benedick Sejour in 2009 but the devastating earthquake in January of 2010 with a magnitude of 7.0 which caused 160,000 deaths, put a halt to football for almost four years. However, Sejour worked tirelessly and by June 2015 had gained government recognition for the federation.

The federation has formed a men’s national flag football team – the Haitian Gladiators – and is working to put together a women’s national team as well.

Interestingly, the list of players of Haitian descent playing in the NFL is long and includes current Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Kevin Pierre-Louis, San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Pierre Garcon and Pittsburgh Steelers running back Fitzgerald Toussaint. A total of 28 current NFL players were either born in Haiti and moved or have parents who immigrated from Haiti.

Benedick Sejour, Presdident of the HAFF:

“We are focused mostly on grassroots development and working to attract more players. We work with high school students, community groups and universities. We see a lot of talent here in Haiti and we hope to strengthen our different leagues with the help of IFAF, our Haitian NFL players and other groups.”

 

 

AFI
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