US military airlifts US women’s football team stranded in Honduras amid coronavirus

US Women Football Honduras

(CNN) — The United States military flew a team of US women football players back home who were stranded in Honduras, after the country closed its borders to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

The American Football Events team had been in Honduras to compete in the Americas Women’s Bowl, which was canceled midway through competition due to concerns over the pandemic.

Hours before the team planned to head home, Honduras announced it would be closing its borders for seven days, beginning 11:59 pm, on March 15.

“We have contacted the US Embassy and they have been great to ease our minds, unfortunately the US Government does not allot funds in order to get people out of a country,” the team posted Monday on its Facebook page.

The team of 55 members said they were safe and had quarantined themselves at their hotel in Tegucigalpa, Honduras.

On Friday, a US Air Force C-17 flew about half of the team out of Honduras’ Soto Cano Air Base to the US, according to a statement from US Southern Command.

Later that day, a US Air Force C-130 transported 89 US citizens, including the remaining members of the team — as well as other US citizens who were stuck in Honduras — to Joint Base Charleston in South Carolina.

Twenty-five members left on the first flight, while the remaining 30 players, coaches and staff returned on the second flight, the team said on Facebook. CNN has reached out to the American Football Events for comment.

The two Air Force missions were in support of the US State Department’s efforts to help Americans return home from Honduras.

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