There have always been plenty of weird moments in CONCACAF (the soccer confederation for North America, Central America, and the Caribbean) events, but Friday brought one even stranger than normal. The confederation is currently holding qualifiers for the 2021 Olympics in Guadalajara, Mexico, with Haiti facing Honduras in a Group B match. But, as per Michael Lewis of Front Row Soccer, Haiti wound up with less than a full team allowed to participate thanks to some players and coaches not arriving in time to go through confederation testing protocols. And as Tyler Terens (who was calling that game on FS2) noted ahead of kickoff, that meant they started the match with 10 players and no keeper:
Major development for this Honduras/Haiti @Concacaf Olympic qualifier. COVID-19 protocols were not observed by Haiti and half the squad's test were given to the lab just yesterday. They will play with 10 men and a field player will be in goal. We're live on FS2 in about 10 min
— Tyler Terens (@TNTerens) March 19, 2021
Haiti was later able to get an 11th man on the pitch, but only partway through the game:
My pal @manuelmedina, who at Honduras-Haiti, reports Haiti was able to make changes because the players' negative COVID tests came in during the game. He says the sub GK went to RB (no sub) the actual GK came in but then they also hooked their 9 for a regular swap.
— Jon Arnold (@ArnoldcommaJon) March 19, 2021
As per an article from Haitian French-language newspaper Le Nouvelliste (Google Translate version available here), part of the issue here came from Mexico refusing some Haitian players visas. Another part of it came from Haitian players travelling in small groups and arriving at various times, some later than hoped for. At any rate, it certainly led to an unfortunate situation for Haiti, and it wound up not being a great look for CONCACAF either; it definitely would have been better if they’d been able to arrange for these teams to play each other at full strength, even at a later date, rather than with Haiti’s side so diminished thanks to travel issues and COVID-19 testing protocols.
As for the match, Honduras eventually won 3-0. The third goal came from Darixon Vuelto (seen above).