World Cup Qualifying

Political climate worsens in Honduras days before USA World Cup qualifier (UPDATED)

HondurasCoup (GettyImages)

The USA-Honduras World Cup qualifier set for Oct. 10 in Honduras is still set to be played in San Pedro Sula, but continued political upheaval is making it far from a certainty with fewer than two weeks to go.

The acting Honduran government has issued an emergency order allowing authorities to limit constitutional rights such as freedoms of expression, travel and gathering in public. The government closed two television stations on Monday that were considered supporters of ousted president Jose Manuel Zelaya, who has stirred things up in his native country by returning to Honduras after having been exiled.

What does this all mean in soccer terms?

Right now the U.S. Soccer Federation isn't making comment yet, but with less than two weeks to go before the USA-Honduras qualifier, and with this week's CONCACAF Champions League match between Mexican club Toluca and CD Marathon being suspended, the chances of the qualifier being moved or postponed are growing. (According to CONCACAF, Toluca and Marathon were notified early on Monday evening that Thursday's match WILL be played, and will not be postponed).

With political protests expected to take place this week, if things worsen, and if protests go from peaceful to violent, the unstable situation in the country could make holding a soccer match there unlikely.

As far as the World Cup qualifier goes, as of Monday no decision has been made about moving it and FIFA has stated its preference of holding the match in Honduras. FIFA will make the ultimate decision, with input from the federations and CONCACAF.

What do you think of this development? Starting to think the game won't be played in Honduras? Did you have plans to travel to Honduras? Still hoping the match is moved to the United States?

Share your thoughts below.

  • Theverybest

    Mexico will be playing at azteca that day. But if they want to play in mexico city they could play at cruz azul or pumas. They could also play in chiapas.


  • Oranje Mike

    Would the match have to take place in a CONCACAF nation if moved? Brazil might not be a bad option. If it stays in CONCACAF, what about Canada?


  • Trent

    Limiting constitutional rights and closing down tv stations that oppose the current form of govt. sounds like what the Obama administration is trying to do here.


  • Matt C

    spare us the political commentary! I’m sure there’s some political blog out there for that sort of thing.

    as for the match, which is what we’re here to discuss, I’m very concerned. If Honduras can’t guarantee safety, the match should be moved. FIFA should intervene and force this issue.


  • DC Josh

    You have to ask yourself, would I feel safe traveling there? If not, then they shouldn’t play. The teams safety, both of them, is most important. Who cares about the officials? Not CONCACAF. This will continue to escelate. There is no way it gets better.

    Let them play in Azteca.


  • DJ Barnett

    I find it humerous that people only want to talk about a soccer game and not the political aspects of what is going on in Honduras when clearly the soccer game is being directly effected by these same political events. No political uprising=no discussion on whether or not this soccer game is going to happen as scheduled months ago. I am usually one to steer clear of political discussions but in this case the political aspect is the discussion for this match due to it’s impact on the match, so far. Because we all know once that whistle blows it better be 3 points for the USA no matter where this game is played or under what circumstances it is played!!!


  • notahonduranexpert

    @mason “Just a hunch, but the only place you’re going to find that conforms with your worldview is below:


    Do remember to keep the comments football/soccer related here, though.”

    “Political climate worsens in Honduras days before USA World Cup qualifier”


    How do you know what my “world view” is or isn’t ? I asked a simple question directed at one or two readers FROM Honduras, i am going to the match, and want REAL info.
    SECONDLY the post discusses the political situation and it’s ramifications on the match. Perhaps you should read “soccer against the enemy” by Simon Kuper, and discover that the two are often intertwined. Finally, don’t tell me what to “remember” to write about or not. If you don’t like it, don’t read it and certainly don’t leave your snippy assumptive judgement.


  • rkupp

    If the illegitimate government is instilling curfews, etc. to limit protests, the game itself would draw a large, uncontrollable crowd out – and thus be a threat to the government.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the fake government wants the game moved, but needs to do it behind the scenes in order to avoid the blame.


  • jh

    Why do some idiots on here (see DeLarge above) seem to think that the powers-that-be are going to move this game to a “site without any inherent advantage for either team?” If the match is moved, why should it be to a “neutral” site? Hopefully, if the match is moved, it will be to a place/setting that gives Honduras some sort of home field advantage. This is, after all, supposed to be a home game for Honduras.

    Besides, we US supporters shouldn’t be hoping to get any undeserved advantages. This team needs to be tested on the road and show they have the ability/cojones to win/compete in a hostile atmosphere, something they’ve failed to do so far in this leg of the competition. Let’s stop hoping for advantages and instead hope the political climate down there improves so we can see the boys tested in a hostile environment.


  • Mason

    notahonduranexpert –

    “no offense, but i don’t really trust the us congress’ report. thanks though” is all I need to know about you and your political views. You’re anti-establishment. That’s cool, but you have absolutely no reason not to trust that report other than a general distrust of the US Congress. Now, had you said that it’s not useful, I would completely understand. That report is a very, very dry legal briefing about the legal situation surround the coup, and would be next to useless for someone who want to know about the situation on the ground. That’s not what you said, though. You reflexively stated that you don’t trust congress. That, in this case, is foolish, as they commissioned their library to look into the legal justifications for the coup, and viewed from that perspective, it is a very illuminating report.

    I’m afraid you don’t understand what I mean by, “Don’t talk politics”. I’m sure you’re aware that there is debate as to the legality of the current Honduran Gov’t and it’s rise to power. Unfortunately, such debate usually devolves into a pointless flame-war with both sides pointing to imperfect translations of the Honduran Constitution. It’s best avoided.


  • chupacabra

    >Jamaica anyone?

    Last time I checked, neutral meant a site without any inherent advantage for either team. Neither team gets one on Jamaican soil.

    Posted by: DeLarge

    It the match was held in Jamaica Dempsey would end up so stoned that he’d just lie down face down on the pitch and try the occasional back heel flick whenever the ball rolled his way. Advantage: Honduras


  • Mason

    No political uprising=no discussion on whether or not this soccer game is going to happen as scheduled months ago.

    Absolutely, DJBarret.

    I would only suggest that there is a difference between acknowledging the political nature and discussing the political nature. In other words, it is not necessary to discuss whether it was a coup, or a legal removal of a rogue president, but rather it is sufficient to accept that there is currently political instability and social unrest. Thus, we can avoid the pointless “It was a coup! You’re like Chavez! Fascist! Communist!” back and forth. That kind of thing goes nowhere fast.


  • Pablo Chicago

    Did anyone catch the Honduras qualifier in Chicago? Taking the train in I saw more US fans than Honduran fans, and I was hoping for an even split, but realized US fans would be outnumbered once again as soon as we got close to Soldier Field.

    I’d say it was an 80/20 Honduras/US fan split and I’m being conservative.

    Big advantage to Honduras in terms of fan support and revenue if the match is played in Chicago.


  • Matt C

    DJ Barnett, Trent,

    You’re missing the point. the smart a#$% remark about Obama was not a meaningful contribution to the conversation, nor was this the right forum for that sort of thing. Of course, talking about Honduras’ political situation is the story, and it’s fine.


  • bernini

    @never first

    You woefully misread my comment. Strangely, and more to the point, you added meaning to words that were never in my comment. Sometimes called false equivalence, sometimes called self righteousness, not sure what track you are taking.

    Ives post was for all intents and purposes about a game moving or not moving. This is a soccer blog. Hence my commentary was predicated on the basis that I don’t care if they MOVE the game or DO NOT MOVE the game, I just want to WATCH THE GAME, wherever it is played. I made no judgment on the political situation in Honduras. Frankly, I do not know enough about it to comment intelligently. I’m just a dolt that likes to act locally and also enjoys watching the nats.


  • notahonduranexpert

    @mason… your assumption that i am “anti-establishment ” because i don’t trust the congress’ report is asinine,(if you believe everything they put out then you are a rube). If you knew what i do for a living, that would be impossible. As for your attempted intellectual treatise……..


  • Tomer Guez

    > sychologically (spell check needed) try
    > and just win a g

    There is a good spell check program Spell Check Anywhere (SpellCheckAnywhere.Com). It works in all programs, including blogs and articles. It comes with an optional grammar check.


  • chapin4usa

    well im from guatemala and you know deam right i gooo for usa lets do these un guatemala .i be watching from a sport bar in atlanta


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