Both Algeria and Bosnia and Herzegovina have been going through a transitional economic period, from a socialist command economy to more liberal and open markets. More private companies are emerging. Governments are providing incentives and support where possible.
Ironically, and tragically, the Netherlands moment of victory in Russia has been wretchedly eclipsed and marred by the downing of Malaysia Flight 17 by a Russian missile reportedly with the knowledge and support of the same country that hosted those Winter Games.
As the 2014 World Cup draws to a close, now is the time to enter an era of good governance of the world's most popular sport. That means FIFA, football's governing body, must change to ensure this beloved sport is a force for good in the world.
As I watch the frenzied World Cup competition approach its apex, I cannot help but wonder why human beings are more interested in kicking balls around a field than they are in the fact that our activities have bought us a one-way ticket to extermination.
People have expressed incredulity: how could Suárez do that, again (the third biting incident in his professional career)? Perhaps more shockingly, how could the Uruguayan national team and its coach, its fans, and even Uruguay's President defend his actions?
Coulter buttresses her warning that the growing interest in soccer is a sign of our nation's moral decay with the facts that soccer "is foreign... the French like it," it is "like the metric system" and, worst of all, "You can't use your hands in soccer."
The World Cup group stage passes again with it usual splendor, perennial giants seemingly collapsed, new chosen ones in their place, the stereotypical upsets, referee gaffes, miscellaneous action, and repeated history.
Why do Latins win at Jeitinho? Maybe it's a by-product of Catholic rebellion, maybe it's the fresh memory of military governments and the urge to be free, maybe it's the heat, but whatever it is, the English and Americans should wake up to it.
To many people, and certainly to FIFA and the IOC, sporting concerns do not, or at least should not, overlap with political ones. This viewpoint is troubling because it downplays the social price of sports.
Most of the globe is getting excited for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil this summer, but for those of you who haven't yet felt the magic of the World Cup, here's a look through some of it's history, so you can start feeling the magic, too.
There is something very wrong with democracy when journalists are forbidden to cover police actions and protests. When journalists get beaten. There is something very wrong and especially sad, also, when journalists are struck by flares, stones, and become targets for protesters' violence.
The solution came from the government trusted propaganda strategists: instead of focusing on the legacy, the government should focus its message on nationalism, and the Brazilian pride for our football.