Political turmoil at home, ultra-attacking tactics and the best young player in the world: What England can expect from Haiti in their Women's World Cup opener

Melchie Dumornay Haiti Women 2023Getty

Eight teams are playing in their first Women's World Cup this summer, but none have a more miraculous story then Haiti. Since President Jovenel Moise was assassinated in 2021, violent gangs have seized control of the country, with an unelected government unable to calm the situation. There has been a sharp rise in violent crime, murder and kidnapping, with the country's calls for assistance falling on deaf ears across the international community.

Most recently, the UN revealed that due to a lack of funding, their food relief programme would be unable to assist as many as 100,000 people in the nation's capital, Port-au-Prince. It is a truly catastrophic situation, only exacerbated by recent natural disasters, and it deserves more attention.

Haitian football has endured a difficult period recently too. In November 2020, FA president Yves Jean-Bart was removed from his post amid allegations of sexual abuse. Jean-Bart denies any wrongdoing.

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Haiti's performance at the tournament won't solve these crises, but their mere presence in Australia and New Zealand will be a much-needed symbol of pride for those back home. As midfielder Ruthny Mathurin has put it, the squad are fighting to make people realise that "some people like the country still. Some people fight for it."

Les Grenadieres' World Cup kicks-off against European champions England on July 22 in Brisbane. It will be the biggest game of the players' lives and they'll be desperate to put in a good showing.