CONCACAF Champions League match in Honduras will be played

CONCACAF CL

Thursday's CONCACAF Champions League match between CD Marathon and Mexican club Toluca will go on as scheduled on Thursday, sources confirmed to SBI on Monday evening.

The teams were notified late on Monday afternoon that the match, slated for San Pedro Sula, will go on despite the current political situation in Honduras.

Reports out of Mexico earlier on Monday suggested that the match would be canceled.

This development would seem to suggest that there are no immediate plans to move or postpone the USA-Honduras World Cup Qualifier scheduled for Oct. 10 in San Pedro Sula. U.S. Soccer still had no comment on the status of the match as of Monday afternoon.

What's our take on this? It sure looks as though Thursday's match will serve as a test run to see if San Pedro Sula can hold an international soccer match without incident. Whether nine days would then be enough time to move the USA-Honduras qualifier is another story. If looming political protests turn ugly, we could be hearing final decisions on all these matches shortly.

What do you think? Is this whole thing starting to sound like a bad movie? Starting to wonder if anybody in the United States will actually get to see the USA-Honduras qualifier?

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in CONCACAF, CONCACAF Champions League, U.S. Men's National Team, World Cup Qualifying. Bookmark the permalink.

23 Responses to CONCACAF Champions League match in Honduras will be played

  1. milkshake of despair says:

    If I am not mistaken, the state department provides security for the team when traveling abroad. If this is correct, I would think they have final decision/veto power on playing in Honduras….

    (SBI-Not really. The state department can suggest a course of action, but ultimately the government can’t make soccer decisions. That would be a big FIFA no-no. FIFA will decide, and the U.S. team will abide by that decision.)

  2. andy says:

    The state dept can decide whether they play in HON—and cost the US three points. But for CONCACAF, if Mexican team has to play there, the US team should also play there.

  3. Zac in Indy says:

    I agree that we’ll have to see how this one goes before they decide to move the qualifier. That Zelaya has been making some bad moves so it wouldn’t surprise me to see this turn much uglier that it already is. I know Hondurans will turn this around on the U.S. but they have no one to blame but themselves. I would love to see the country come together as a result of the qualifier but it doesn’t look like there is an end in sight.

  4. nate says:

    Ives – are you slated to go to the Honduras qualifier?

  5. Never First says:

    It’s not worth putting lives at risk. Hopefully, the situation will be a bit more stable. I know there is some anti-American sentiment in Honduras because the US hasn’t done much to help the situation.

  6. Tyler says:

    link to sports.yahoo.com

    This article says Toluca will not travel to Honduras.

  7. baloosh13 says:

    just move it… it isn’t safe

  8. northzax says:

    can toluca just forfeit, without losing their standing in the CCL? they have a large enough lead that losing the match wouldn’t affect their moving on to the quarters. of course, that would screw DCU, who needs Toluca to beat Marathon to have a shot at going through.

    interesting. maybe Toluca throws both matches, and allows the results against SJJ to be the difference? hmmm…

  9. Never First says:

    Toluca is really forcing CONCACAF’s hand here. They cannot make Toluca go into a possibly dangerous situation, and Toluca likely can forfeit their two remaining matches and still advance. I think CONCACAF should just move the match. The more likely possibility is Marathon gets 3 free points, and DC is screwed.

  10. milkshake of despair says:

    Ives,

    Are you saying the state department will provide security regardless of the political situation? Or if the state department determines it to be unsafe, then US Soccer must find its own security force? (i.e. Blackthorn or whatever it is they’re called)

    Just curious what is the actual protocol and who has ultimate authority.

    (SBI-I’ve been told that the team wouldn’t go if the state department suggested that it doesn’t go.)

  11. acj says:

    If the defacto government thinks the situation is serious enough to announce a state of emergency and curtail civil liberties I can’t see how they can defend hosting these matches.

  12. Gene says:

    I wouldn’t be terribly concerned about the team in this situation. I’m absolutely certain that the Honduran government would absolutely insure their safety—they have enough international problems without some incident with our team.

    Now whether I would go as a spectator—no way. I would not really be that concerned for my safety (especially since I would pretend to be a Canadian or, as a blond (actually gray-haired now), blue-eyed Spanish speaker, a Spaniard), but it would just not be pleasant and just too much hassle. Martial law and curfews are just not that much fun and I certainly would not risk violating curfews—there will be a lot of nervous young soldiers out there and they will be heavily armed. You just don’t want to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and, as a visitor, you really do not have the knowledge to avoid those situations.

    This advice is based on personal experience as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Dominican Republic in the 60s. Survived one coup d’etat, weeks of police check points, curfews and the other things that go with martial law, and a civil war. The civil war was not a place to be, but the coup was not a risk, just a hassle, but then again we had the local knowledge that a tourist would not have.

    Think really hard before heading down there and, if you decide to go anyway, be careful, stay inside except for the game, stay away from crowds, and don’t mess with the Honduran army.

  13. Daniel says:

    Just toss a coin. I’m sure this two teams will win their last game and qualify.

  14. Justin O says:

    I don’t understand what exactly it means when people say the State Department provides security. A coningent of American marines arond the team? That seems unlikely. Local guards on US State Dept payroll? Maybe. General consultations on security? That seems to me all they would do.

    Anyway, as things stand now, I don’t imagine it would be dangerous outside of Tegucigalpa, which is where, as I understand it, the incidents are. (Correct me if it’s more widespread than that.) You’d probably have to fly into Tegucigalpa, but airports aren’t generally in the center of cities so I don’t think it would be diffricult to fly in and drive to a calm city.

  15. Zac in Indy says:

    Armed Guards with the team? Blackwater is looking for work.

  16. DC Josh says:

    Any State Dept. employees on here? Make the call: “they can’t go”.

    Put the game in RFK, it’ll still be a home game for Honduras. Jozy will get hit by two D batteries again. The Hondurans will throw their $7 beers in the 88th minute. And they will take over the stadium 90 blue and whites – 10 red white and blues.

    Even if this game is played in Honduras, will either team be fully committed? I can’t imagine the Honduran players won’t have other things on their mind. For the better of both teams, MOVE THE GAME.

  17. Joel says:

    I read the headline in a Yoda voice.

  18. FC Djemba-Djemba says:

    I really hope both CCC games in SPS are played. The majority of the unrest seems to have been limited to Tegucigalpa.

    Doesnt seem like this issue will be resolved quickly though…

    earlier threats from the de-factos of removing diplomatic immunity from the BRA embassy were countered with Brasilians stating that they will not hand over Zelaya nor will they withdraw their embassy personnel from the country.

    link to oglobo.globo.com

    From what I understand, State Dept. security for the USMNT is limited to a few Diplomatic Security agents that travel with the team to away matches.

  19. citysavage says:

    I was in SPS for the DCU game in August and if weren’t for the media reports, one would not have known there had been a coup. As I understand it, the unrest has been limited to the capital, Tegucigalpa, a good distance, rough geography, and political culture away from SPS and the industrial, commercial, and US-friendly north. Granted, Zelaya’s return has complicated matters, but it would be a shame for Hondurans, true soccer zealots, to lose the chance to support their beloved Contrachos against the US on their home turf. If the CONCACAF match goes well, then I hope they’ll go forward with the WCQ match in SPS.

  20. Mike says:

    It’s not an easy decision. I know that FIFA constantly takes the position that “football brings the world together” in always highlighting how Pele stopped a civil war in Nigeria in 1967, but let’s not kid ourselves. In fact, I don’t see the problem with moving the qualifier. If the government cannot ensure a nearly 100% safe environment, don’t allow them to hold the qualifier. After all, it’s just a game. (And can we be so sure of the country’s safety and that the conflict will stay localized when the government continues to crackdown?) Even if the conflict is in San Pedro Sula, they’ve got to fly into Tegucigalpa.

    Sure, the game will probably see the crowd unite behind the Honduran team, cheering wilder than ever. But it doesn’t mean that such emotions won’t and can’t carry over during and after the game. If there is even the slightest sign of violence before or after the game, pull the plug from the game, and hold it in El Salvador or Guatemala. But if nothing happens, keep it Honduras. But even so, we should demand that full responsibility be taken to ensure the complete safety of the US team.

  21. Mason says:

    Mike-
    Can Mexico offer a “nearly 100% safe environment” for the USMNT in Azteca?

  22. Bryan says:

    if by Blackwater you me Xe. Because that is their new name since their incident in Iraq. haha

    seriously though, this situation is ridiculous.

  23. David says:

    US v. Honduras in the Azteca would be awesome, we could finally say that the US “won” a game in the Azteca.