Along with chikungunya, dengue and malaria, Port au Prince betrays all the symptoms of World Cup fever. But this is not agonising at all. The Coup de Monde is the cup that globally cheers. The World Cup, first televised in 1954, is now the most widely viewed and followed sporting event in the world, exceeding even the Olympic Games.
Here in Port au Prince then, restaurants are decked out with flags of some of the competing national teams– the preponderance of US, Brazilian, Argentine, Italy – is striking. France, the former colonial power, makes the occasional appearance. Cars increasingly sport flags too and downtown, little knots of men gather around antiquated TV sets, precariously and crookedly resting on boards nailed to a tree. They’re powered by car batteries and the image is barely discernible but there’s a decided flavour of the Coup.
(Tomorrow: For Haiti, the Coup de Monde’s real fallout will go beyond footie fever)