Work in Sports
Honduras soccer team still not paid
Posted: Saturday April 22, 2000 12:28 AM
HERSHEY, Pa. (AP) -- The Honduran soccer team still had not paid promised bonuses as of Friday night's game, the coach said.
"It certainly had an impact. It kind of gave the team an anemic effect," coach Ramon Enrique Maradiaga said through an interpreter. The team lost its first game of the Olympic qualifying tournament to the United States 3-0. "There is no doubt that some of the players were treated badly, and then coming here late had an effect on their play."
The coach said, however, that the federation was still promising to make the payments.
The players had refused to travel to the United States unless they were paid promised bonuses. On Thursday, the team promised to make payment in Hershey, said Lisandro Flores Guillen, president of Honduras National Federation. The Hondurans then traveled to the United States.
The Honduran soccer federation also lifted its two-year suspension of 16 of the 18 players on the Olympic team who threatened to boycott. The federation initially said the players had done irreparable damage to Honduran soccer.
The players demanded bonuses of $1,500 each the federation promised if they made it to the final round of the Olympic qualifying tournament. The team did that by placing second in a four-team round-robin in Mexico two weeks ago.
Honduras is one of six teams in the tournament from which two nations will win spots for the Sydney Olympics.
Honduras is grouped with the United States and Canada. The other group is made up of Guatemala, Mexico and Panama.