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Let’s talk security and diversity around U.S.-Honduras match

Feb 5, 2013, 12:55 PM EDT

Security-Honduras

We should never stray far from what makes this game so unique in our country – which is that soccer/ football/ futbol /etc. is a global game, something more grand and certainly bigger than our country.

That international scale makes soccer about more than sport. It’s about cultures and societies coming together, bonding over athletic endeavor. It’s shared interest and diversity blending beautifully.

Of course, it’s not all beautiful. And in talking about diversity, the United States clearly is not Honduras.

The Washington Post’s Steven Goff, who dropped into San Pedro Sula yesterday with a small plane full of U.S. journalists, does a wonderful job of painting a bigger picture, where soccer meets real life in the small Central American nation.

He also paints shares some great details of the security challenge in what the U.S. State Department calls the most violent city in the world. (Surely that is based on murder and crime statistics that do not include officially designated areas of military conflict, right?)

Either way, security is tight for the U.S. team, as it always is on these trips into developing lands. (It was all zipped up nice and tight for a full six weeks during World Cup 2010 in South Africa.) Here is how security efforts started for U.S. journalists in the country, courtesy of Goff:

On Monday night, two-dozen American reporters in town for Wednesday’s World Cup qualifier between the United States and Honduras gathered in a hotel conference room for a security briefing from an embassy representative. The message was clear: Take precautions or you will be targeted for robbery. Resist, and you will be assaulted.  

“Don’t walk alone. Don’t show a cell phone on the street. Don’t go out at night. Eat at the hotel or in the food court next door.”  

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