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!