Honduras celebrates holiday after qualifying for World Cup | sports | Hindustan Times
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Honduras celebrates holiday after qualifying for World Cup

Honduras' transitional government declared on Thursday a public holiday after the national football team qualified for next year's World Cup in South Africa, providing rare joy to a country embroiled in a political crisis.

sports Updated: Oct 16, 2009 13:49 IST
DPA

Honduras' transitional government declared on Thursday a public holiday after the national football team qualified for next year's World Cup in South Africa, providing rare joy to a country embroiled in a political crisis.

After Wednesday's 1-0 victory in El Salvador, de facto president Roberto Micheletti announced the holiday on television after the game and thanked God "because he has brought us this luck."

Honduras has only one previous World Cup appearance in 1982.

Hundreds of thousands of Hondurans greeted the national team as returning heroes on arrival in Tegucigalpa and paraded with them through the streets. Many visited the shrine of the Virgin of Suyapa, the Honduran patron saint.

Declaring the holiday could have been politically motivated. Micheletti, who has led the regime installed after President Manuel Zelaya was ousted and exiled by the Honduran military in June, called on Hondurans to put the political crisis behind them for the moment.