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USA Monitoring Honduras Situation

Because of the political unrest in Honduras, not to mention the closure of the four major airports there this week, the U.S. Soccer Federation is keeping an eye on the situation as it plans for the national team's trip to San Pedro Sula for the World Cup qualifier Oct. 10.

"We are obviously monitoring the situation closely and are in discussions with the appropriate officials at CONCACAF and FIFA who will determine if the location of the match will be moved," spokesman Neil Buethe told the Insider.

USSF officials wouldn't speculate, but with the match just 17 days away and numerous logistical and transportation issues to address, a decision to change the site would have to be made soon.

The last time the venue for a USA qualifier was moved to another country was December 1996, when a stadium tragedy in Guatemala City two months earlier forced Guatemala to "host" the Americans in San Salvador. It was the final game of the semifinal round, a 2-2 tie in which Preki and Frankie Hejduk scored.

By Steve Goff  |  September 23, 2009; 2:38 PM ET
Categories:  2010 World Cup , CONCACAF , U.S. men's national team  
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Next: Union-United on April 10

Comments

Seems unnecessary to move the game as it is being played in San Pedro Sula, not Tegucigalpa (the site of the majority of 'unrest'). Surely, the airports will reopen soon enough...especially the one in San Pedro Sula.

Posted by: nico78 | September 23, 2009 2:52 PM | Report abuse

The Hondurans could lobby for a game at RFK which might be pretty close to the environment at San Pedro Sula.

Posted by: FrancoNiell | September 23, 2009 3:01 PM | Report abuse

here's a scenario: they still host in SPS, but don't open the airports, thus making the US fly into Guatemala and do the 10 hour drive by bus. I bet they'd get hung up at the border for a few hours too.

Posted by: troy6 | September 23, 2009 3:04 PM | Report abuse

San Pedro Sula, from what I've been told, is just as likely to have "unrest" as is Tegucigalpa, being the major economic center in the country.

I posed the question of whether the game might be moved yesterday on my blog (don't worry, no spam); looks like I was at least correct that it might be an issue. Yea for me. lol.

Posted by: jbdavis1 | September 23, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Will a resolution of the Honduran crisis involve a settlement to show the game on a English language channel in the United States that does not require putting a satellite dish the size of a soccer goal on my roof?

Posted by: IamAM | September 23, 2009 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Adu on the bench.

Posted by: Reignking | September 23, 2009 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Goff:

A minor correction to the website:

Clicking on the United/Soccer option from the dropdown menu on the Post's mainpage leads to the soccer part of the sports page.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/sports/dcunited/?nid=roll_dcunited

An item there (which links to yesterday's Insider item about Namoff's concussion and other players' injury status) says "Bryan Namoff will miss his first game of the season WEDNESDAY as he continues to have headaches after sustaining a concussion".

For a second I thought the Marathon game might be tonight instead of tomorrow night.

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | September 23, 2009 3:41 PM | Report abuse

If there is even the slightest doubt as to the safety of the players then the game must be moved. Hideously stupid to do otherwise. Although we are talking about CONCACAF and FIFA aren't we.

Posted by: rushiswhacked | September 23, 2009 3:45 PM | Report abuse

nico78

Posted by: godpere | September 23, 2009 3:46 PM | Report abuse

It's over 2 weeks from now, but it's hard to imagine how the game could be played in Honduras. If Honduras would still be looking for a "home" crowd, they could play @ RFK....

Posted by: fischy | September 23, 2009 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Hopefully the USSF will be playing the safety card as much as humanly possible. Why wouldn't they try to get the match moved - perhaps to Mexico. On second thought, it's not as if Mexico is the greatest place on earth for the US to play.

Posted by: Kev29 | September 23, 2009 3:57 PM | Report abuse

They should move it to a neighboring country and then sell the Honduran TV rights to a company that is planning on selling the air time to US bars only in Honduras. ;)

Posted by: rushiswhacked | September 23, 2009 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Rossi subbed out as 10 man Villarreal lose to RM. They are in the relegation zone!

EJ assists ZOLTAN!'s goal.

Posted by: Reignking | September 23, 2009 4:09 PM | Report abuse

I don't see any risk to players or fans, but I can imagine an order to move the game as a symbolic slap against the extant Honduran government for the current actions in the capital (cutting water and power to the Brazilian embassy where Zelaya is holed up). Anyone who thinks FIFA and CONCACAF aren't political organizations probably believes in the IOC too. In such a case, I would expect Guatemala City or San Salvador to host.

changing the subject, Kamani Hill didn't play in Guimaraes' victory, but he did make the roster for the first time this year.

in the Belenenses game, 2 of the midfielders just got yellow cards, so perhaps Adu will get some playing time. knock on wood.

Posted by: troy6 | September 23, 2009 4:15 PM | Report abuse

should rename CONCACAF BANANA-CAF

maybe Maradona could be its "President" after he's done "Coaching"

Posted by: OWNTF | September 23, 2009 4:16 PM | Report abuse

That would be awesome to move this game. We should keep playing up this "dangerous unrest" angle...That might just help us change to a less imposing away site. Our odds would have to go up if there is a site change!

Posted by: alan19 | September 23, 2009 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Full Time - LC3 Aston Villa 1 Cardiff 0

Guzan made some nice saves in his normal League Cup start - from what they're saying on Talksport

Posted by: Kev29 | September 23, 2009 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Corporations, international agencies, and others with employees who travel a great deal have almost certainly suspended travel to Honduras for safety reasons. USSF is correctly being diplomatic, since it technically isn't up to them, but it seems to me this game has to be moved and that USSF has a strong case to push privately. With Guatemala, Nicaragua and Panama out of the tournament, these seem like good alternate locations.

Posted by: sportsparenttoo | September 23, 2009 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Fredy Adu subs in, 64th

Posted by: sportsparenttoo | September 23, 2009 5:00 PM | Report abuse

It really is too bad the administration is completely bungling this. Their (Honduras')constitution is explicit; the man violated it; the US backs the criminal. Outrageous and embarrasing for a one-time proponent of democracy. Support Chavez and his merry band of communists?? WHY??
I see no danger to the players except when the residents and gov't of Honduras ask why the US would do something like this. The players play, they don't set policy. Unfortunately for them they are the face of the country wherever they go. Sometimes that is good, somtimes bad. In the current situation that is bad.
So, I think the game should be moved to a more neutral site like......Cuba or Venezuela, maybe even Russia. :-(

Posted by: marksman37 | September 23, 2009 5:20 PM | Report abuse

I think they should play the match on TV.

Karma will get you every time.

Thx,

Jay!

Posted by: jayrockers | September 23, 2009 5:34 PM | Report abuse

I see no danger to the players except when the residents and gov't of Honduras ask why the US would do something like this.

Posted by: marksman37 | September 23, 2009 5:20 PM

-----------------------------------------------------------

A shout-out to the lunatic fringe...

When the US would do something like this"? Like what, exactly? The US Soccer body (which is, per FIFA bylaws, insulated from any government involvement or pressure) issuing a statement that they are monitoring the situation there? Because the airports are already closed and other circumstances may arise that will make it impossible or dangerous to proceed with the game there? What sort of chimp supplies their talking points?

I'll stay out of the politics except to note that there isn't a single government in the world that accepts this poster's version of the situation.

Posted by: fischy | September 23, 2009 5:39 PM | Report abuse

And, back to soccer: AC Milan lost to Udinese, 1-0...without Gooch. Could the defense have done any worse with him?

Posted by: fischy | September 23, 2009 5:42 PM | Report abuse

Oh yeah -- don't let Soccer Czar Gulati do "this"...whatever "this" is....

Posted by: fischy | September 23, 2009 5:44 PM | Report abuse

MM37-
So you're pro-dirty war and pro-desaparacido?

Posted by: mason08 | September 23, 2009 5:50 PM | Report abuse

In the reality-based community -- the New York Times is reporting that FIFA and CONCACAF are reviewing the question and they will make the decision (rather than Barack Obama, in consultation with Hugo Chavez).

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/24/sports/soccer/24soccer.html?_r=2

Posted by: fischy | September 23, 2009 5:53 PM | Report abuse

wow, here we go again. Zelaya is a would-be Chavez, everyone realizes it, and no US citizen in their right mind thinks that's a good thing (or their left mind or their moderate mind). What the US can do about it is a separate story, but why F up the soccer blog with more of this? Aren't there other blogs on the Post for that?

Posted by: OWNTF | September 23, 2009 5:59 PM | Report abuse

@OWNTF -- You're right -- there are other blogs for this --and I tried to squelch that debate before it got any farther. But, since you made your point....Ask yourself this -- what is a "would-be Chavez"? Someone who imposes their leadership in contravention of previously legislated rules for elections and governance? Someone who uses the military to back his rule and intimidate, imprison or force opponents to leave the country? Now, which side in the Honduran dispute did all of that? What about someone who asks for term limit to be voided, so he can stand for reelection? Chavez, Zelaya, or Bloomberg? or (d) all three? There are many reasons to oppose Chavez, but changing term limits is hardly the most anti-democratic despotic action...at least, not if that were all he was doing. The problem is that it's not.

Posted by: fischy | September 23, 2009 6:23 PM | Report abuse

Zelaya is a would-be Chavez, everyone realizes it, and no US citizen in their right mind thinks that's a good thing (or their left mind or their moderate mind).

===

This may be true, but what is certainly true is that between 1955 and 1978 there were five coups in Honduras. Additionally, during the 1980s Hounduran police (Intel Bat. 3-16, CO: Billy Joya, now of the Micheletti Gov't) and Military committed numerous human rights offenses on the Honduran populace. Unfortunately, they're already at it again. I find it pathetic that some would be so desperately anti-socialist or as to support thugs like these.

Posted by: mason08 | September 23, 2009 6:29 PM | Report abuse

Article 239 of the Honduran Constitution reads:

Article 239 — No citizen that has already served as head of the Executive Branch can be President or Vice-President.

Whoever violates this law or proposes its reform, as well as those that support such violation directly or indirectly, will immediately cease in their functions and will be unable to hold any public office for a period of 10 years.

Posted by: marksman37 | September 23, 2009 7:10 PM | Report abuse

I study politics for a living. I read this blog for news about soccer and entertainment. While the politics of soccer may sometimes be entertaining, we've gone seriously off-base here. Please, let's save it for Politico.com

Any news of lineups for DC United tomorrow?


Posted by: reedd1 | September 23, 2009 7:54 PM | Report abuse

Yeah? Then why use the military in the middle of the night? Why violate Article 102, which clearly states that "No Honduran shall be expatriated nor delivered to a foreign state."

If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck...

Posted by: mason08 | September 23, 2009 10:32 PM | Report abuse

@marksman -- Seriously, dude - You're citing a law that makes it a crime, carrying an automatic punishment of political excommunication, to do as much as propose reforming the self-same law? What kind of friggin' law makes it illegal to even discuss changing it? That's the kind of constitutional provision you're excited to defend?

Can you imagine any law in this country having such a provision? It's offensive to any notion of free speech or democratic governance.

Posted by: fischy | September 23, 2009 10:50 PM | Report abuse

Your attention please:

We must interrupt this political debate to bring you the Soccer Insider Blog. There is no need to adjust your monitor, just discuss news on the pitch. ;)

Posted by: croftonpost | September 23, 2009 11:21 PM | Report abuse

Well -- fortunately everything here has been centered. Usually, it's all shifted to the left margin, I admit.

Posted by: fischy | September 24, 2009 12:03 AM | Report abuse

I think they should play the match on TV.

Posted by: jayrockers | September 23, 2009 5:34 PM |
-----------------------------------------------------

They could use FIFA '10 as the platform -- I hear it loves Kljestan.

Otherwise, they should probably play the game on a real field with real players.

Posted by: fischy | September 24, 2009 1:08 AM | Report abuse

The US State Department says, "The Department of State alerts American citizens to the current unstable political and security situation in Honduras, and recommends that American citizens defer all non-essential travel to Honduras until further notice."

Of course, that's been in place since July 24, if not earlier, and includes the line, "This Travel Alert expires on October 20, 2009. "

Posted by: apgibson | September 24, 2009 4:42 AM | Report abuse

If CONCACAF made, that's right, I read that CONCACAF denied the request from the Honduran Soccer Federation to postpone the Marathon AND Real España Champions League games, then they should in fact NOT take home field advantage away from the Hondurans. The airports have opened again. Of course, the USSF will make it's case to CONCACAF that it is not safe. After all, it's a crucial game and the US does not want to lose...which is almost certain playing in San Pedro Sula! If CONCACAF denied a request with airports closed, it must certainly deny a request to change venue with airports open! Doues anyone remember when the US played Iran in the World Cup? All the political hype...and what happened? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!! Let them Play in San Pedro Sula!

Posted by: Kromer523 | September 24, 2009 11:22 AM | Report abuse

My brother lives in Honduras right now and said they are using some of the stadiums to house people arrested for speaking out against Michelete. Anyone caught doing that gets jailed for 45 days. Also get arrested for breaking the 6pm curfew.

Not sure which stadiums, but he said thousands are being arrested.

Posted by: robextra | September 28, 2009 11:58 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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