The Football War of 1969 is unlike any other international dispute in history. The international conflict and war between El Salvador and Honduras took place during the summer of 1969, and saw around 300,000+ Salvadorans living in Honduras up until 1969 due to multiple different factors. Though it has been boiled down to being called the “100-Hour War” by many scholars because of its connection to around four days of heightened conflict between the two countries, the conflict actually started earlier and ran far longer than originally noted. Four main focus areas are highlighted when understanding the Football War and they are split up chronologically: first, the Salvadoran Emigration to Honduras; Second, the football matches themselves; Third, the entirety of the war; And, fourth, the aftermath and consequences of the war. This study argues that the football matches should be better contextualized under Sports Diplomacy as social phenomena which have rampant political effects. In proving this, this study uses primary source literature in the form of international communication documents, CIA declassified briefs, and game statistics to help prove the ideas and emotions of specific members of government, and help better understand the gravity of the matches. By doing this, it will be shown that the football matches had a lasting effect on politics, and that the opportunity to use Sports Diplomacy was missed.


Holt, Katherine




Law | Military History


El Salvador, Honduras, Football War, Guerra Futbolística

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



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