The Football War ( Spanish: La guerra del fútbol; colloquial: Soccer War or the Hundred Hours' War, also known as 100 Hour War) was a brief war fought between El Salvador and Honduras in 1969. Existing tensions between the two countries coincided with rioting during a 1970 FIFA World Cup qualifier.
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The 1969 ‘Soccer War’ Between Honduras and El Salvador. Every four years, the world’s attention turns to the spectacle that is the World Cup. Rivalries can be fierce as countries vie for the most coveted prize in international sports. For the most part, the action stays on the pitch.
On July 14, 1969, the “Soccer War” officially began when three El Salvadoran fighter aircrafts made an incursion into Honduran airspace. Soon afterward, the Salvadoran army made immediate advances towards the Honduran capital, Tegucigalpa, and launched attacks on the main road connecting the two countries.
The soccer war lasted one hundred hours. Its victims: 6,000 dead, more than 12,000 wounded. Fifty thousand people lost their homes and fields. Many villages were destroyed.
As tensions grew on both sides of the border, El Salvador began claiming the land taken from Salvadoran immigrants as its own. With the media in both nations inflaming the situation, the two countries met in a series of qualifying matches for the 1970 FIFA World Cup that June.
The Soccer Wars: Honduras and El Salvador, 1969. On July 14, 1969, Honduras and El Salvador went to war. The 100 hour war took 6000 lives, 12,000 were wounded, and 50,000 people rendered homeless The cause was ostensibly the World Cup matches between Honduras and El Salvador qualifying for Mexico ’70. The bitterly contested first match played at Tegucigelpa, Honduras saw the Hondurans beat the El Salvadorans during the last minute of play, giving them a 1-0 win.
Rivalry between Brazil and Uruguay also burgeoned following the World Cup final of 1950, when millions of Brazilian football fans were traumatized by a 1–2 defeat. In South America, Peru and Chile are also considered traditional rivals; the confrontation between the two nations is known as the Clásico del Pacífico, or Pacific Classic.
In 1969, El Salvador and Honduras fought a four-day conflict that cost thousands of lives and displaced thousands more - a bloody struggle still remembered as the Football War.
The dogfights were among the final acts in a brief but bloody four-day conflict between Honduras and El Salvador, commonly (but misleadingly) known as the Football War. Although a pair of soccer games between the two nations sparked the initial riots, the war was the culmination of longstanding tension over immigration and land reform.