Haiti: Digicel Statement on Federation of Haitian Football

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (defend.ht) – The CEO of Digicel Haiti, Maarten Boute, in a letter stated the position of his company in regards to its beneficiary, the Federation of Haitian Football, which incurred sanctions following a controversial election process.

In the letter, the chief executive officer said his company would continue its efforts for social responsibility in the community. The letter recalls an audit request that was not honored and an outstanding request to have an independent commission inquire into the elections of January 29, that saw Dr. Yves “Dadou” Jean-Bart reelected to a fourth consecutive term.

Opposition candidate Gerard Janvier has charged that a new executive committee was established the same day as the elections which transgressed against federation statutes which require and executive committee to be seated at least 6 months prior.

The letter below was published in Le Nouvelliste:

Unigestion Holding S.A., a Haitian company, trading as Digicel, recalls that it is a very high opinion of its social responsibility, and as such it was the first to democratize access to telecommunications, that it favors the detection of young artistic talents, welcomes annually the best entrepreneurs, finances the erection or reconstruction of schools, offers financial services previously unavailable through small grants and participates through its foundation to fund institutions or projects in the field of health and education.
Digicel, for nearly five years, is the main financial support of the Federation of Haitian Football, anxious to encourage the flowering of talent, boost competition for both sexes and all age groups, and thereby allows our flag flying proudly again on foreign turf. It feeds by no means the intention of domesticating the Federation, the latter remaining as independent in the conduct of its choices of associations in sports choices.
However, partner of a financing contract for the activities of the federation, Digicel, out of respect for footballers and footballers who frequent the grounds of the country, is entitled to ensure that the funds have been used wisely.
Verbal and written requests for the provision of audited financial statements are so far unsuccessful. Funding for the Digicel is thus stopped, the suspension in response to a breach of contract remains an implied term in every contract.
Digicel does not disengage from football, its contributions will continue to clubs and associations as soon as they meet legitimate requests for clarification. Digicel in dealing with federal authorities, must be assured that its interlocutors whatever they are, are legitimate, and hold office at the end of a process that respected the rules that the federation itself secreted.
Unfortunately, the electoral process was marred by serious violations of the statutes of the FHF and its electoral code. Digicel does not intend to favor any list or cartel. It simply expects that the FHF meets its own standards.
Digicel believes in patriotism based on the construction of a democratic state, compliance with freely adopted standards and procedures, and as it does place its attentions to the weakest are active. It hopes that this spirit pervades all social bodies and the noblest of them as sports associations, schools of fair play and honest confrontation.

Maarten Boute, Digicel Haiti CEO


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