World Cup Bid Unites Hondurans Divided By Coup

A soccer victory that clinched Honduras' first trip to the World Cup in 30 years is giving its people an exhilarating distraction from the divisive political crisis that has gripped the country for the last 3 1/2 months.

Negotiators are continuing talks on whether to reinstate ousted President Manuel Zelaya. But right now Hondurans are more interested in celebrating Wednesday night's 1-0 defeat of neighboring El Salvador.

Thursday was declared a national holiday and hundreds of thousands of people celebrated outside, many welcoming the team at the airport and others lining the streets to a church where the players attended Mass.

Next summer's World Cup finals in South Africa will be Honduras' first since 1982.


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