What a topsy tervy time it is in the world of politics. With decisions being made on Brexit filling the papers back home, and Trump’s inauguration into the White House everywhere else, as well as the many protests in the streets, not to forget the rise of the “alt.right” (a fancy name for far right groups), it has left very few column inches for anything else. And that “anything else” would be a welcome break because for the vast majority, I think we’re just about politicked out. Worse to come here, 2017 is the year of elections, and with Juan Orlando Hernandez managing to swindle himself into the running (remember, in 2009 former President Mel Zelaya was kicked out for trying to swindle the exact same thing. Politics, as we know, is a dirty game, and an unjust world it is. But from a Brit looking on from a very powerless position from the outside, best to keep my mouth shut and my nose out of it, as no doubt I’ll be impolitely asked to do on social media by folk in desperate need of valium), the coming months will be filled with heated conversations, accusations of corruption and dirty tricks, and maybe a flying glass of water being chucked on live TV (anything’s possible when Marvin Ponce’s around).
Let’s not get embroiled into politics though. As suggested above, a few more column inches need to be devoted to positive news. In international news, blink and you may very well have missed it, but Honduras was victorious in the UNCAF. The “beg your pardon” I hear you say. The UNCAF, I repeat, or the Copa Centroamericana as it is commonly known. I don’t think I need to translate that, but I will explain a little about it. It is, suffice to say, a football tournament held between seven Central American countries (Honduras, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Panama, Belize, Panama, and Guatemala, although Guatemala this year was not included due to a FIFA suspension (what for, I am a little unsure. Corruption maybe. But Honduras can’t talk. A certain Rafael Callejas comes to mind)). It is held every two years, I think, and the top four teams go through to the CONCACAF Gold Cup, held later in 2017. This year it was held in Panama, a country whose football team I love to hate because it plays very, very dull football, lacking any real quality or will to win, but they somehow grind out results against Honduras. I don’t think teams send out their creme-de-la-creme players, from looking at the line ups. However, the Honduran coach Jorge Luis Pinto might have been given food for thought in this tournament. Honduras has got off to a disasterous start to its world cup qualifications (losing at home to Panama), showing little drive or passion. A few swaps might be in order.
Not only did Honduras win, but they won in quite clearly, winning three of their four games, and drawing the other against Costa Rica; a game which the Catrachos largely dominated. Honduran midfielder Jorge Claros was awarded Player of the Tournament and striker Eddie Hernandez finished top goal scorer with three well poached goals. Rubio Castillo, who I think is quite a boy wonder coming through, also caught the eye. The victories were all narrow and maybe Honduras could have put a few more past the likes of Belize and Nicaragua, it is good to see the team coming together after some poor results, barring the Olympics in Rio. This is their fourth Copa Centroamericana victory, and before any Brits back home knock it, they are four cups more than England has won in 50 odd years (Pamela was quick to remind me of that statistic).
So, well done La H!