TV hosts Waleed Aly and Peter Helliar have sparked an international incident between Australia and Honduras ahead of the Socceroos' World Cup qualification play-off first leg.

Media commentators this week joined Honduras football president Jorge Salomon in condemning the two Network 10 stars over comments they made about the Central American nation during an interview with Socceroos star Tim Cahill on The Project.

Comments made by Helliar and Aly have featured in Honduran media outlets over suggestions it is not safe for the Socceroos to be travelling to the "murder capital of the world".

The Socceroos have landed in San Pedro Sula ahead of their first-leg game at the Estadio Olympico Metropolitanoon Saturday morning (AEDT).


Socceroos players, including star Tim Cahill, have since been forced to address concerns from Honduras media about the lack of respect Australian media commentators have shown the nation that finished fourth in the CONCACAF zone's World Cup qualification.

The situation has been spiralling in Honduras to the point that star Honduran striker Antony Lozano declared his team will be aiming to "kill them off" when asked about the Socceroos this week.

The situation all began to get out of control when Aly appeared to suggest it's not safe to travel to Honduras and Helliar then suggested there are similarities between playing against Honduras and playing against "ISIS".

Cahill was on the show to promote Channel 10's new broadcasting arrangement to screen A-League games, but - after Cahill starred in Australia's World Cup qualification play-off win against Syria - all the focus was on the Socceroos' upcoming tie against Honduras.

Here's how the interview went:

Carrie Bickmore: So, Honduras. Are you going to win?

Tim Cahill: It's a massive game. We're looking forward to it. It's going to be difficult. It's never going to be easy and we're excited.

Waleed Aly: I was very excited. I was so excited. I was going to get my tickets booked. I was going to fly over there. I decided to do some googling of Honduras and it turns out we're going to San Pedro Sula which apparently is - or once was - the murder capital of the world. So, anyway, good luck without me. Do you think it's a good idea that you win?

TC: It doesn't matter where we go for us. It doesn't matter. We're there to win and that's it. There's nothing holding us back now. We want to go to a fourth consecutive World Cup.

Peter Helliar: So you beat Syria. Now you're going to the murder capital of the world. If you win this, I think you play ISIS. But they're calling you the danger man? The coach is saying you're the danger man. They have to stop you.

TC: Well that's good because, firstly, I don't know if I'm going to get a game. I have to do well here [in the A-League]. Get selected, stay fit. It's a big challenge. I'm excited for it. It doesn't matter where we play. There's a massive prize at the end of it.

The newspaper also criticised Socceroos boss Ange Postecoglou's decision to make a light-hearted joke in an interview reported by Channel 9 about the logistical nightmare the team faces travelling to Honduras with all their equipment, coaches, support staff and security.

"Australians seem to have a lot of fun with the social problems of other countries," El Heraldo reported.

Cahill was forced to address the Honduran resentment towards the Australian press when he landed a day after teammates on Tuesday night (AEDT).

Ever the statesman, Cahill came with a message of respect - contrary to some sensational media reports of the country's security situation.

"As players, we respect the country and people, which is most important," he said.

"What media say is different to what players think.

"I'm happy here in Honduras.

"It is a country I already respect a lot but we want to get a good result in the match.

"I know Victor Bernardez as a player and he used to play for the national team. For [national team veteran Maynor] Figueroa too, we have the utmost respect.

"We're coming here to play football. It's about football and enjoying that occasion and us taking in the surroundings."

Locals have been unimpressed with Australian media reports painting the country as hostile or violent, with a particular distaste for the use of the "murder capital of the world" tag the city cannot shake.

There's no disputing San Pedro Sula's horrific crime rate that until recently made it the world's most dangerous city.

Honduras' second-biggest city has a homicide rate of 112 killings per 100,000 people.

By comparison, Australia's rate is one per 100,000.

But statistics only tell one side of the story; much of the violence is gang-related and confined to well-known no-go zones.

Teammate Bailey Wright agreed that Hondurans had rolled out the red carpet, in contrast to the Socceroos' experience in their World Cup playoffs with Uruguay.

"Regarding what's in the media, I don't really look too much at what's been said. I make my mind up when I'm here and so far it's been nice," he said.

"Everyone's been really friendly and up for a chat, asking how we are. I feel very welcome."