Useful Notes / The Football War

Also known as the 100 Hours War, it was the 1969 war between El Salvador and Honduras.

Named so for the rioting that took place during the second round of the North American Qualifier for the 1970 FIFA World Cup.

It was fought over Honduran land reform and El Salvador's immigration problem, as well as a border dispute. 4,000 people died in the 4 days of fighting, and the war ended due to intervention from the OAS (no, not the OSS).

They signed a peace treaty 11 years after the war ended and Honduras won the disputed territory in a ICJ (International Court of Justice) ruling in 1992.

The ramifications of the war (the forced return of hundreds of thousands of salvadorans to a military-controlled El Salvador) would eventually become one of the reasons that led to the start of the eleven-years long (1980 - 1992) Salvadoran Civil War.

Noted for being the last war where both sides fought in the skies using piston-engined fighters, namely ex-American World War II and Korean War fighters.

In the case of soccer, El Salvador won a spot for the World Cup, but lost in the Group Stages

Tropes involved with the War:

  • Ace Pilot: Major Fernando Soto, who shot down three Salvadorian fighters (one P-51 and two FG-1s) on his F4U-5 Corsair.
  • Cool Plane: Noted for being the last war involving both sides using prop planes, namely P-51D Mustang and F4U Corsair.
  • Foreshadowing: El Salvador's unrest worsened after this war, it sadly led to the death of 75,000 people in their Civil War. Ousted or homeless Salvadoran also fled to America after the war and created some of the deadliest street gangs the region has had to face, such as MS-13.
  • Serious Business: Seriously, a war about football?
  • Silly Reason for War: The problems between Honduras and El Salvador had already piled up for a while, but football as an excuse to go to war is pretty stupid.

Examples in works