All posts tagged: 100hour

The 100-hour war between El Salvador and Honduras is famous for starting with a football match – the truth is more complicated

The 100-hour war between El Salvador and Honduras is famous for starting with a football match – the truth is more complicated

A recent football match in Hong Kong has flared geopolitical tensions. A sell-out crowd was left disappointed when Inter Miami’s Argentinian superstar, Lionel Messi, did not come onto the field. Their disappointment soon turned to anger as, just days later, Messi played in another game in Japan. Chinese state media, Hong Kong politicians and frustrated fans interpreted the act as a sign of disrespect, suggesting that there were political reasons for Messi’s absence. Two Argentina friendlies that were scheduled to take place in China in March have been cancelled. Some Hong Kong officials have demanded an “explanation and apology” from the player, while fans claimed that Messi should no longer be welcome in China. Football has flared up tensions before, with lasting political consequences. In 1990, a game between Zagreb’s Dinamo team and Belgrade’s Red Star erupted into violence between fans and the police. The violence is believed by some to have sparked the ensuing Croatian war of independence (1991–95). But one case in particular holds the reputation for a war that was started over …