Coming into their World Cup qualifying playoff against Australia, it’s unlikely that Honduras’ national team needed any more motivation; after all, a spot in the world’s most prestiguous soccer tournament. However, thanks to two Australian media personalities, they got some extra incentive.
During an interview with Socceroos star Tim Cahill on Australia’s Channel 10 show “The Project”, Waleed Aly and Peter Hellier seemingly mocked the crime rate in Honduras. Aly spoke on wanting to go to the game initially, before finding out it was in San Pedro Sula. He then went on to call the city “the murder capital of the world” and asked if Cahill if he thought it was a good idea for Australia to win the game, insinuating that danger would follow if they did. Never mind that San Pedro Sula isn’t the so-called “murder capital” of the world; that title is held by Caracas, Venezuela.
You’d think it would be enough to stop there, but instead, two hosts kept going. Hellier took his shot at a cringeworthy joke his own, saying to Cahill that “you beat Syria. Now you’re going to the murder capital of the world. If you win this, I think you play ISIS.”
After hearing this, Honduran media was immediately infuriated, and the Catrachos players have begun using the segment as a rallying cry. When asked about the Socceroos this week, Honduran striker Antony Lozano declared that his team will be looking to “kill them off”. Honduras football president Jorge Salomon even called a press conference on the matter, commenting that “we are upset with some Australian media that have spoke bad on the name of Honduras, they have played with the name of our country, that has bothered us all and I think it is something we cannot allow.”
Honduras faces off against Australia at Estadio Olympico Metropolitano on Friday November 11th at 5:00 PM ET.