Following their qualification for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, Panama’s president president Juan Carlos Varela has declared a one-day national holiday to celebrate the historic moment.
Panama secured a 2-1 victory against Costa Rica in their last World Cup qualifier which was enough to send them to the global showpiece for the first time in their history, as USA failed to win at Trinidad and Tobago.
Panama leaped to third on the group and progressed to the finals, while Honduras’ victory over already-qualified Mexico sends them into a play-off with Australia, who defeated Syria in a two-leg encounter 3-2 on aggregrate.
Juan Carlos Varela posted on Twitter: “The voice of the people has been heard; celebrate this historic day for Panama. Tomorrow [Wednesday] is a national holiday.
“It is a historic day for the country. Tomorrow will be free for the public and private sector workers.
“On a national holiday, also classes are suspended at the country’s private and public schools, celebrate family.”
The United States lost 2-1 to Trinidad and Tobago, a defeat that denied them a place in the World Cup for the first time since 1986.
From the group, Mexico, Costa Rica and Panama clinched the automatic spots for the World Cup finals, while Honduras will decide their place in Russia in a play-off against Asian giants, Australia
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