The Canadian Press reported today that at least (at least, good god) thirty members of Haiti's football federation died as a result of last Tuesday's horrific earthquake:
The soccer dead included players, referees, coaches, administrators and medical officials, the Caribbean Football Union said. Haiti's federation's headquarters collapsed during last week's quake.
Soccer is probably the last thing that matters right now, but the depth of this tragedy can't be understood by way of a banal body count; it comes by way of these atomized instances of loss. This figure is staggering.
Haiti is a regular fixture for CONCACAF teams, including Canada. They finished in the quarterfinals of the last Gold Cup in 2009, losing 4-0 to the eventual winners Mexico. The result was a sign of a team recovering from a decade of poor results, in part brought about by continued political instability (Haiti had been forced to play its home fixtures on American soil, and had a history of player defections). FIFA has donated $250 000 to the relief effort, and Jack Warner donated $100 000. Canadians seeking information on how to donate to relief efforts should visit http://www.cbc.ca/haitirelief.