San Salvador Elsalvador Sports

Salvadoran refugees working in Honduras were housed at the Red Cross headquarters in San Miguel after the start of the football war. Two days before the invasion began, the Apollo 11 spacecraft took off from Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The Salvadoran army was in Honduras when Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong touched down on the moon.

Joy turned to pain as they marched into Honduras in a deadly four-day conflict known as the football war. This week's game in Los Angeles is the opening match of the CONCACAF Gold Cup, with far less at stake than in 1969. But as both teams prepare for a reunion on Tuesday at the Banc of California Stadium, the effects of that era will still be felt.

Honduras beat weary Salvadorans, El Salvador won, but there was little time to celebrate. Later in the afternoon, the team hotel was surrounded by local supporters who banged drums and set off fireworks into the night.

More than 75,000 people have been killed in the conflict and two million have fled since then, according to the government. Hondurans now resent immigrants for taking away their jobs and land, fueling a nationalist backlash. In the 1990s, more than 300,000 Salvadorans crossed the border to work in factories, farm, and, in many cases, marry Honduran families.

Mariona said members of the Salvadoran and Honduran national teams, which were reestablished after more than a decade without talks with their country's national football federation, are trying to embarrass the government, which blames football for the football war.

After El Salvador was hit by a 7.6 magnitude earthquake in 2001, Mariona said veterans of the 1969 team played a series of charity games to raise money for earthquake victims, and the players stayed in touch. The players who will be at the Banc of California Stadium on Tuesday have forgotten everything they ever knew, he said. The Central American neighbors met in a best-of-three series to determine which country would advance to the first Central American qualifying tournament for the FIFA World Cup in South America since the 1970 "s. A team from El Salvador became the first after the victory over Honduras in 1969, but only in the second qualifying round in 2002.

What followed was a period of social unrest that led to the rise of the Salvadoran military, emboldened by its success in Honduras and putting civil war on the agenda of President Salvador Sanchez Ceren and his government. That is what happens today with migrants coming to the United States, and that is why Tuesday's first World Cup qualifier in El Salvador will begin with a game against Honduras at the Banc of California Stadium in San Francisco. The Salvadoran government issued a resolution blaming the results of recent international soccer matches for the rising tensions and violence in Honduras.

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