U.S. men's national team news

USSF officials monitoring security in Honduras

September 23, 2009
By Doug McIntyre

U.S. Soccer Wednesday addressed the possibility that the national team's next World Cup qualifying game, scheduled for Oct. 10 in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, might be moved to a neutral site due to ongoing political strife in the country.

"We're continuing to monitor the situation and remain in contact with CONCACAF and FIFA," U.S. Soccer Federation president Sunil Gulati was quoted as saying by The Associated Press.

Messages left for officials at FIFA, world soccer's governing body, and CONCACAF, which oversees the region, were not immediately returned.

U.S. national team blog
The political situation in Honduras has left the U.S.' Oct. 10 qualifier there in doubt. Doug McIntyre Insider

Honduras' political situation has been unstable since June, when troops arrested then-president President Manuel Zelaya and forced him out of the country over his plans to change the constitution, which would have allowed him to remain in power.

Matters came to head earlier this week after Zelaya snuck back into Honduras. Since Monday, Zelaya's been holed up inside the Brazilian Embassy in the capital city of Tegucigalpa. The de facto government instituted a nationwide curfew, and pro-Zelaya rioters have clashed with heavily armed police.

Acting president Roberto Micheletti has asked Brazil to turn in Zelaya, who it wants to charge with 18 offenses, including treason.

Meanwhile, Brazilian president Lula da Silva, in New York for the United Nations General Assembly, demanded that Zelaya be returned to power.

The Brazilian Embassy's water and electricity supply were cut Tuesday but have since been reinstated. But schools, businesses, airports and border crossings remain closed, although the coup-installed government lifted the curfew for six hours Wednesday so that businesses could open briefly and people could buy what they needed, according to the Associated Press.

FIFA has moved World Cup qualifying matches due to political turmoil before. In 2007, a qualifier between China and Myanmar was staged in Malaysia after Myanmar's military broke up pro-democracy rallies, killing at least 10 people.

Doug McIntyre is a soccer columnist for ESPN The Magazine and ESPNsoccernet. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.