Work in Sports
Honduras settles dispute, rejoins Olympic qualifying
Posted: Thursday April 20, 2000 10:10 PM
TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras (AP) -- Honduras jumped back in the Olympic qualifying tournament after resolving a dispute with players who had refused to travel Wednesday to the United States until they got their promised bonuses.
The players were to board a plane Thursday, just hours after agreeing to accept their bonuses at the tournament in Hershey, Pa., said Lisandro Flores Guillen, president of Honduras National Federation.
Honduras will play against the United States on Friday, the first day of the nine-day tournament.
"There's good news ... the players have rectified their attitude and Honduras will be in Hershey," Flores said.
The Honduran soccer federation, in turn, lifted its two-year suspension of 16 of the 18 players on the Olympic team, whom it had claimed had done irreparable damage to Honduran soccer.
The players had demanded bonuses of $1,500 each that the federation promised if they made it to the final round of the Olympic qualifying tournament, which the team did by placing second in a four-team round-robin in Mexico two weeks ago.
The federation said it planned to pay them next week, but the players protested, refusing to board the plane Wednesday.
Honduras is one of six teams in the tournament in 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.