¡Animos! Not the greatest performance against Australia last night in San Pedro Sula, finishing 0-0 and the away side playing the better of the two, but it’s definitely not over. An away goal for Honduras could change everything. I was at the game with Fox Sports Australia, the crowd turned up, but the team didn’t play their best. Some questions for Jorge Pinto, that I’ll expand on with Fox Sports Australia. Here are a few photos I took anyway.
Now I want to include an interview I had with a key member of the Barra Brava Catracha (BBC) supporters club in Copan, in the west of the country, not far from the Mayan ruins. Funnily enough I write the piece heading back to Tegucigalpa using a bus company that the interviewee works for, Hedman Alas. He goes by the name of Ruddy, and he hails from the rural town of San Marcos in Ocotepeque, close to the border borders with El Salvador and Guatemala.
“It’s difficult to know how many members [Barra Brava Catracha] there are in Honduras exactly. The number keeps growing everyday, more and more people joining, not just in Honduras but in other places. It’s a growing family,” says Ruddy. “We want to make it the official barra for the Honduran national team. It already feels like the official supporters group anyway. We are people who love the national team unconditionally. It’s very rare that we don’t attend a game.
“I went to see 12 of the qualifying games. The furthest I’ve traveled to watch the national team is Panama, and the first game I saw was an 8-0 victory over Jamaica in Tegucigalpa.”
The group is made up of people of all backgrounds, with some ex-players, semi professionals and amateurs joining. Ruddy has also had the opportunity to meet the majority of the squad.
However, long before the game last night, Ruddy held Australia with a high esteem. He not only foresaw the result last night, stating that it wouldn’t be won at home in San Pedro Sula like many had hoped, but Honduras would get a result in Sydney. “It’s a disciplined team with a European approach. They have reknown international players and we can’t underestimate them. I think we’ll get the result in Australia [rather than in Honduras].”
He also took a balanced view of how his country was being portrayed by some sections of the Australian press, deciding not to be too riled by the narrative and adopting a positive approach instead.
“If I have seen and heard many negative articles about our country people and culture but I am not bothered. Freedom of expression is global and I can not deny that there are negative things, but there are positive things too, with the best people, culture and team,” he says. “People from overseas fall in love with Honduras all the time with all the beautiful and positive we have, so authentic and original. Its incomparable, unequaled; a wonderful country. They can call us masoquists but what we are is inconditional. They call us delusioned but what we really are is realistic. You can call us crazy but what we are is Catrachos with heart and soul.”
The man from Copan also felt the negative press would play into Honduras’s hands.
“It gives both players and fans gives more momentum, to show the world the opposite to what they are told about our wonderful country.”