Because the U.S. has not gone to war over a game before!

The Soccer War of 1969 between El Salvador and Honduras is proof how important soccer is to these countries. It was a 4 day / 100 hour war brought on by already tense immigration/political issues between the two countries. During the second round of a World Cup qualifier game between the two countries a riot started. One thing lead to another and El Salvador launched a military attack against Honduras!

Tranquilo people, it is just a game!

But that is the problem. It is not just a game to people in Honduras. It is a chance to be the winners for once. It is a chance to be on top! It is a chance for the rest of the world to take a look at little ole’ Honduras! It is hope! Soccer is Honduras’ Obama.

Even in this time of political upheaval people will come together for a national futbol game!


It doesn’t matter if you are for Zelaya, Micheletti, if you are rich, poor, male, female, old or young. Everyone in the country wants one thing. And that is for Honduras to win! The U.S. does not have anything close to the same enthusiasm, even for the Olympics! It is amazing to experience a national futbol game here in Honduras! And I am not even talking about being at the big Stadium in San Pedro Sula.

On the day of a game a large portion of the population wears their blue and white team shirt. TVs come out to the front of the house, tables and people gather around on the street for “block parties” to watch the games together. Restaurants and bars are standing room only. Parties are being held in private homes all over the country and if there is no TV, there is the radio. Someone in the small villages will have at least a radio and people will come together to listen to the game.

I found this on a Honduras Blog regarding a game between Honduras and El Salvador earlier in 2009. “There is no other important news today in Honduras and El Salvador because of tonight’s game. No politics, no crime, no economics, nothing.”

Yes, folks, soccer IS that important.

And mind you, soccer is the ONLY sport in Honduras as well. No futbol Americano, no baseball, no hockey, and no basketball. Even the smallest villages that we have been to have a soccer field, even if it is built on a slope with ravines on the sides. When you have so many people focusing on one sport in a nation, you can see why it is that important.

After the disappointing loss to big bag U. S. of A. on Saturday 10/10/09 qualifying the Estados Unidos for the World Cup, I thought Hondurans would be discouraged for the El Salvador game 4 days later.


Honduras VS USA – OCT 09

It did not, because Honduras still had a chance! They still had a chance to qualify for the World Cup, which would be the first time since 1982! Honduras had to win against El Salvador. And also, Costa Rico had to lose to the U.S.A.

To be truthful the Honduras vs El Salvador game was boring for the first half and in the second half, Honduras scores!


Then one of the small TVs at Expats was changed over to the Costa Rica vs USA game.
Ai Ai Ai, USA was losing 0 – 2! At some point in the second half the USA scored, but that was not good enough. Going back and forth between the two games was stressful…making sure El Salvador did not score a point and wanting USA to score two points. Both games were being played at the same time with the clocks ticking by in sync. This further heightened the tension as both games were in their final minutes.

Expats – World Cup Qualifier Night!

During the final 5 minutes people gathered closer in front of the small TV broadcasting the Costa Rica vs USA game crowding around us as we were right under that TV! At the time we thought USA had to win to the game, but they just needed to tie for Honduras to displace Costa Rica in the rankings and gain World Cup Entry! So we were not too sure that Honduras would be going to South Africa in 2010, but with only a minute left in the game U.S.A. came through, uh finally, for Honduras and scored, tying the game!

Mayhem broke out!

Our photo view of the Street Party/Parade Afterwards:

On the Street After World Cup Qualifying Games

Just to experience a National win in Honduras would probably make you realize that you have never really experienced what it really means to be a fan. After a National win Hondurans take to the streets, in their cars, on their cars, 3-4 people and maybe their pet to a scooter, bicycles, buses, motorcycles and on their feet! They yell, scream and holler in shear overwhelming happiness. They wave flags, blue or white towels are swirling in circles, and they yell some more. Then the water comes out, people in one car splashing the other, people on the sides of the road armed with buckets to surprise innocent revelers, people in hotel rooms and buildings throwing bucket-fulls from second floor balconies. It is a free for all, everyone happy, getting along and doing no wrong. After 2-3 hours of this deep to the bone happiness, the crowds settle down and wander back home quietly without force or being told to do so.





So, this is why I will always cheer for Honduras or for some other small under dog country in the World Cup. The U.S. is big, has money, has all kinds of sports championships, and it is a world leader…give the smaller countries a chance at least once in awhile! Their enthusiasm and joy for this sport far exceeds anything you will see in the U.S.A.!



~ by My Gnome Little World on October 19, 2009.


  1. Our sports tradiitons are baseball, basketball and the biggie of them all football. Futebol will always be second rate in the US. Why? Passion. My wife is Brasilian. I have been to many futebol games in Brasil. When I bought my first Flamengo cap. The people would shout at me Are you a Flamenguista. I said yes. This is a badge of honor. Argentina-England the Fauklands war. Maradona- the hand of god goal and all of that. Futebol is more important than life or death. I feel in love futebol when I was eight or nine years old. I wa taught to play the game by a man named Mr. Maloof. This was in North Brunswick New Jersey. i listen to Flammego on the internet.

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