Honduras handed donation from congress

TEGUCIGALPA - Honduras's national congress donated $52,700 to the Central American country's football team on Wednesday for their World Cup preparations.

Honduras, under Colombian coach Reinaldo Rueda, qualified for the finals for the second time this year, having played at the 1982 World Cup in Spain.

"We are here to make a contribution and send a message of support to the players and the coaching staff who have recovered that feeling we Hondurans so lacked in difficult times," Juan Orlando Hernandez, president of the congress, told the Honduran football federation (Fenafuth).

The donation of one million lempiras (about $52,700) was made two weeks after squad members called on the Fenafuth to pay them their bonuses for qualification to the finals in South Africa.

Honduras, one of the poorest countries in Central America, emerged only recently from a major political crisis sparked by a coup against President Manuel Zalaya last June.

Fenafuth president Rafael Callejas said the bonuses totaling more than $1 million could be paid in two weeks' time.

Earlier on Wednesday, former Colombia coach Rueda said he would like to stay on in charge of the Honduras team after the World Cup.

"I've had two meetings with Reinaldo Rueda to discuss his staying on. The truth is we're very interested in him remaining," Callejas said.

Honduras, who will play a warm-up at home to Venezuela on May 21, face favourites Spain, Switzerland and Chile in Group H at the finals that kick off on June 11.

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