This is my latest purchase in Honduras…
Isn’t it beautiful?? I would never have ever, ever thought of buying a football shirt in England – one, because I don’t follow any specific team and two, I just didn’t have much passion for it. I have pretty much zero interest in national football – I don’t support any particular team, in fact, I used to choose my team of the moment depending on where Michael Owen was playing (now it’s Joe Hart). I did go to a match for the first time a few weeks before I came to Honduras and it was a pretty exhilarating experience but it didn’t make me go away and want to choose a team to watch every week on the TV. International football, specifically the World Cup, is a different story. I was addicted in 2010 – I followed the live commentary of almost every match, it was kinda freaky. I’m still not sure why – I think is was something to do with wanting to avoid revision in my 2nd year of university and, kind of bizarrely, the politics of some countries playing against each other was thrilling for me.
But anyway, it is impossible to not love football in Honduras. I’m sure a lot of people could visit this country and not find anything to love – some people might just see poverty, violence and insecurity – but I can promise you that it is impossible to live in Honduras during an important football season and not get caught up in it. It’s not just about football; it’s about having something to get everyone together and something to be proud of. Coming from England where we used to be good at football and now not so much… well you just experience a sense of arrogance followed by disappointment. It is usually taken for granted that England will qualify for things such as the Euros and the World Cup. But Honduras have to fight for their place in such competitions – they have only reached the finals of the World Cup twice before, in 1982 and 2010. So last night was a pretty big deal.
You can always tell when it’s a match day – everyone is suddenly wearing Honduras team shirts and beaming. I can’t walk anywhere usually without people shouting vulgar things at me and leering – but yesterday, in my Honduras shirt, it was different. People just looked proud to see a gringa walking around with their shirt on and everyone was giving me friendly thumbs up! It was amazing – I think I might have to start wearing it every day!! And watching the game is always an event – I’ve watched a game at my project with us all crowded around a tiny TV, in Valle de Angeles last week and lots of times with my family and friends. If you ever happen to not be watching the game, you can easily keep up to date with the progress of the match by standing outside – the cheers and fireworks that fill the air are a good indication of goals being scored. With Tegucigalpa being basically a big bowl surrounding by mountains the sound is just something else.
So last night me and my wonderful family crowded around the TV to watch Honduras take on Jamaica to secure our place in the World Cup. It started out a bit wobbly with an own goal but we eventually ended up with a 2-2 draw (which is all we needed as long as Mexico lost, thanks Mexico!) and so off we go to Brazil 😀 I have so much passion for this country and it’s football now, I can’t wait to see them play next year! I will be wearing my Honduras t-shirt with pride in England next summer – even if we’re up against each other! It will always be Honduras that inspired my new passion for football!