How football helped to heal Honduras


“I often see a football match described as a battle or a fight for survival but in 1969 a tie between Honduras and El Salvador proved to be the catalyst that turned simmering border tension and immigration issues into all-out war. The two teams met in a play-off that had more at stake than simply a place at the 1970 World Cup in Mexico and each side was subjected to abuse, xenophobia and hatred when playing in the other country.” (BBC)

Football War
“The Football War (La guerra del fútbol, in Spanish), also known as the Soccer War or 100-hours War, was a four-day war fought by El Salvador and Honduras in 1969. It was caused by political conflicts between Hondurans and Salvadorans, namely issues concerning immigration from El Salvador to Honduras. These existing tensions between the two countries coincided with the inflamed rioting during the second North American qualifying round for the 1970 FIFA World Cup. On 14 July 1969, the Salvadoran army launched an attack against Honduras. The Organization of American States negotiated a cease-fire which took effect on 20 July, with the Salvadoran troops withdrawn in early August.” (Wikipedia)

Salvador–Honduras War, 1969
“An idyllic view of Latin America shows twenty or so somewhat similar countries living in peaceful proximity to each other. Revolutions, yes; wars, no―or so goes the popular concept. Wars are for Europe and Asia, not for neighborly Latin America. The fact is, however, that Latin America has been the site of a number of bitter conflicts, several of which have resulted in large numbers of casualties. The Chaco War, the War of the Pacific, the Paraguayan War, the Peruvian-Ecuadoran War―all of these were international conflicts that disturbed the hemisphere.” (Air Power)

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