I'm not a big football fan either, but, as a psychologist, I'm aware that the game carries a lot more weight than may be at first apparent. In fact, I believe that the world as a whole has a great deal to thank football for, because of the social and psychological benefits it has brought over the last 100 years or so.
It seems like yesterday that the world woke to the shocking scenes of neglect and cruelty inside Romania's orphanages and care homes. Grainy Images of feces-stained wards, and babies chained to rusty cast-iron beds that seared in our minds. But 25 years on what has happened to Romania's abandoned children, and what fate awaits children from Romania's underfunded care system today?
I believe that the UK has to end its 'urban tribalism' and encourage rich and poorer, communities and business to co-exist more harmoniously and to support and champion one another. We need to embrace conscious capitalism with businesses taking a more active role in communities through smarter giving of time, skills and mentoring.
I have to admit every now and again I turn into a crusty old git, who is very worldy-wise, been there, done it, seen it, got the T-shirt. My close friends would probably raise an eyebrow at such a statement and whisper in my ear, 'when are you not like that?' illustrating what good friends they are by doing so.
The afternoon sun is beating down on the mountain town of Copan Ruinas in central Honduras. We are a short drive away from San Pedro Sula, a city with one of the highest homicide rates in the world. Gang warfare has divided the city for years, but the violence has steadily increased since the 2009 military coup when the Honduran Army overthrew President Manuel Zelaya.
Misrepresenting someone or something is a big thing. It has potentially vast repercussions, a fact recognised by defamation law, and by the huge fees paid to advertising and PR companies by major brands and public figures. But not everyone has the money or expert advice to take these routes to controlling how they are represented by others.
"If only someone had listened..." is the final report of the Office of the Children's Commissioner's two-year national inquiry into child sexual exploitation by gangs and groups, and presents a compelling case for a "sea change" in the culture of children's services so victims' needs are prioritised...
Companies are not the only ones to have discovered the opportunities offered by an increasingly globalised world. Some 3,600 criminal gangs are active in more than one country in the EU and of those 70% boast an international work force and 30% commit more than one type of crime. Worldwide organised crime costs the global economy €670 billion a year. Crime on this scale can only be successfully be countered at an international level.
The announcement of the World cup and Olympic games in 2014 and 2016 respectively turned the dynamics of the way favelas were neglected by the State. The governor of Rio and mayor shortly announced afterwards that they would be deploying a new tactic called "pacification" to combat crime and liberate the favelas from the control of drug gangs.