The Football War – 1969 The Football War was a four day conflict between El Salvador and Honduras in 1969. El Salvador and Honduras are neighboring countries of Central America. Although the territory of Honduras is 5x larger than that of El Salvador, …in 1969, El Salvador had a population of 3.7 million while Honduras had only 2.6 million. Since El Salvador was overpopulated, many of its citizens emigrated to Honduras; looking for land to cultivate. By the end of the 1960’s, Salvadorans made up 20% of Honduras’ population. Most of the land cultivated by Salvadorans in Honduras was taken illegally. In order to meet the demands of dissatisfied domestic farmers, but without threatening the interests of big agricultural companies: Honduras President General Oswaldo Lopez Arellano, enacted a land reform law in 1962; which took most of the Salvadorans’ land – in order to be given to Honduras farmers. These events caused hatred between Hondurans and Salvadorans. In the following years, animosity between the two nations grew to the point of open hostilities. Salvadorans living in Honduras became the target of frequent maltreatment and even murder. Their properties were taxed by local Hondurans, and many of the Salvadorans were expelled back to El Salvador. On the other side, El Salvador strongly protested about the maltreatments of their people. But without any response from the governments of Honduras, …tensions between the two nations escalated during the football qualifying matches for the 1970 World Cup in Mexico. Honduras and El Salvador were playing playoff matches for one final World Cup place. The first match in Honduras on June 8th 1969 was won by the hosts. With a goal in overtime, which caused anger from Salvadorans who felt robbed. The match was followed by incidents against local Salvadorans. The second match in El Salvador took place on June 15th. Salvadoran fans “welcomed” the Honduras team with such noise in front of their hotel that players couldn’t sleep all night. The next day, the tired and frightened Honduran players easily lost the game. To make things worse, the Salvadoran hosts raised a dirty rag in place of the Honduran flag on the stadium, and beat up guest fans that came to support their teams. Naturally, the incidents caused a reaction in Honduras, where local Salvadorans were exposed to even larger attacks. Salvadoran shops were demolished and murder became an everyday occurrence. Up to 1,400 Salvadorans were expelled to El Salvador per day. The final decisive playoff match took place on June 26th 1969 in Mexico City. El Salvador won the game after extra time. On the following day, the Salvadoran government terminated all diplomatic relations with Honduras. Hostilities began on July 14th 1969. El Salvador sent three passenger Douglas C-47s armed with explosives, followed by F4U Corsairs to bomb Honduras’s main airports in Toncontín. On July 15th, El Salvador launched a ground offensive; attacking Honduras from the north and east. For the operation, El Salvador deployed infantry, artillery and mechanized units. The response came on the same day: Honduras sent T-28 Trojans, F-41s(?) and F4U Corsairs to attack El Salvador’s main airport and oil storehouses in port of La Unión. Even though Salvadorans quickly found themselves without fuel and ammo, they were eager to attack the Honduran capital of Tegucigalpa – since they had a much smaller army. The Honduras government appealed to the Organization of American States (OAS) to intervene. Under the threat of economic sanctions, the Salvadorans were pressured by the OAE – to stop their offensive. On July 18th, El Salvador and Honduras agreed to a ceasefire. However, it was not until August 2nd that Salvadoran units left Honduras. The peace treaty was signed 11 years later in 1980, but it never solved the problems between the two nations. Many expelled Salvadorans never returned back to Honduras. Those who remained, were still being maltreated and brutalized. Subscribe for more history videos. Get Simple History – The Cold War out today. Thank you guys for all your support on the Simple History YouTube channel. If you enjoy it, please consider visiting our Patreon page. There, you can show us your support for the channel by donating, and make a huge difference in what we’re able to create for you, plus you can get early access on upcoming videos. So let’s keep it growing and thank you for being part of this amazing community!

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Dennis Veasley

100 thoughts on “The Football war (Weird Wars)”

  1. nice job misleading everyone into thinking this was about the football games, rather than about the real issues.

  2. thanks, im from Honduras and i have heard before about the football war but i never heard the full story thanks for explain it to me 🙂

  3. This is historically inaccurate. After 2 days, Honduras had pushed the Salvadoran Army back into El Salvador. Honduras invaded El Salvador. El Salvador went to the United Nations and asked the UN force a ceasefire. The United Nations required El Salvador to cede all of their islands in the Gulf of Fonseca as war reparations. I suggest your "researchers" read the book "La Guerra de Futball".

  4. My grandpa is El Salvador, and my dad is Hondurian, my dad was about 6-7 years old when this war broke out, he remembers it vividly. That was the day my grandpa fought for his life with a machete, he fled to El Salvador bleeding, he barely made it alive. It would be another 8-10 years before my dad saw his dad again. What people don't realize, is that before the war people of El Salvador and Honduras lived side by side in Honduras, worked together, played with each other, married each other. This was a gruesome war that turned families/ neighbor's on each other.
    Thank you for this video, your highlights were right on point.

  5. Can't say it's surprising that El Salvador with the highest murder rate in the world would participate in a war with Honduras (5th highest murder rate in the world) over a game of football. You couldn't pay me to visit either country.

  6. Ok ik America uses guns and carry it on there daily bases but I didnt know they had to use it in football games

  7. Wow its actually interesting how countrys can go to war over the most simple things, yet with some many crazy things happening in the world that is worse than soccer there is no WW3 yet.

  8. 2:52 it looks really funny the way you make them hold a pistol without a thumb lolz your animation style rocks. Seriously good history tho, and I like how you keep yourself so neutral and your portrayals of human activity so consistent across cultures. The Americans and Germans shooting at each other look the same, except for uniforms, gear, and weapons. People are just people – everywhere.

  9. As a site note, this war was also later on known as the war of the hundred hours, given its duration (roughly 100 hours). Thanks for doing a video on my country's (El Salvador) history, I honestly never expected it. I love your videos!

  10. This was not a football war. It was when el salvador tried to steal hondurases land. And honduras defended itself. Than the war began

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