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Harvard Men's Soccer to Host Haitian National Team, Game To Benefit Cape Verde

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — The Harvard men's soccer team will host an exhibition game to benefit Cape Verde and Coaches Across Continents Friday, April 20, and will also play the Haiti National Team on Sunday, April 22 to benefit Partners in Health relief efforts in Haiti.

Haiti will travel to New England for a five-day benefit tour, with the national team taking on Dartmouth on April 20. 

The game to benefit the Cape Verdean Football Federation and Coaches Across Continents will be at 7 p.m. in Harvard Stadium and the Haiti game will be a 5 p.m. start at The Stadium. 

Coaches Across Continents is an international development organization that educates local communities to design and implement social development programs using soccer as the teaching tool. A collection will also be taken during the game to benefit the Cape Verdean Football Federation and Coaches Across Continents.

"We are thrilled to host our friends from Haiti for a second-straight year," said Carl Junot, the Virginia B. and James O. Welch '52 Head Coach for Harvard Men's Soccer. "Together with Partners in Health and the administration at Dartmouth, we are thrilled to be able to expand the weekend to include a game to benefit Cape Verde as well. We hope that this extended weekend of games will be a large benefit to Partner's In Health."

"As the Consul General of the Republic of Haiti in New York, it gives me an immense pleasure to add my name to all those who support the Soccer for Change, an event which is to take place at the Harvard Stadium," said Charles Antoine Forbin, Consul General of the Republic of Haiti.

"I welcome this initiative even more for the game is entitled, 'Haiti Leve' (Stand Up Haiti) and will be played by the Haitian National Team, and will raise money for Partners in Health, which operate in Haiti. Football (Soccer) is our main sport in Haiti. I will request the Cultural Section of the Consulate General to endeavour to give the wildest publicity to this event."

The Hatian National team events at both Dartmouth and Harvard will raise money to support Partners in Health and its relief efforts in Haiti, which is still recovering from a catastrophic 7.0 M earthquake that struck on Jan. 12, 2010.

Ticket go on sale Wednesday, March 16. Admission for the game will be free to Harvard undergraduates, but donations will be accepted for this worthy cause with all the proceeds going to Partners in Health. Check back at GoCrimson.com for more details on the event as it nears.

Last year's game against Haiti drew 11,513 fans to Harvard Stadium with an additional 1,900 viewers watching online in a dual-language broadcast in both English and Creole. The teams played to a 0-0 tie and decided to play an exhibition penalty kick session with the Haitians emerging victorious.

After the game, Harvard Athletics, the Friends of Harvard Soccer and the Ted Ashford Foundation made a total donation of $16,000. Harvard also teamed with Dartmouth to cover all expenses and travel costs for the Haitian team during its trip to the United States.

Also almost a year ago, the Harvard University Student-Athlete Advisory Committee successfully coordinated a "Harvard For Haiti Campaign" that raised over $5,000 in donations and contributions on Feb. 19, 2010.

The SAAC collected donations at men's basketball and ice hockey games with student-athletes, dressed in vintage game apparel, passing through the stands with size-18 sneakers and zie-14 ice skates. Additionally, the Department of Harvard Athletics donated all parking proceeds from the night which included events for basketball, ice hockey, men's lacrosse and MIAA Swim Championships at Blodgett Pool.

"After the earthquake in Haiti, there were many student-athletes who wanted to help out, but weren't sure how to do so. With the help of the athletic department, SAAC was able to collect money for Haiti relief," said former SAAC president and current Harvard Varsity Club Assistant Director Melissa Schellberg. "I was so impressed at how willing Harvard basketball and hockey spectators were to give to such a great cause. It's inspiring for all of us who wear Crimson, fans and athletes alike, knowing that we are helping out in every way we can."