England football manager Roy Hodgson praised Syria for the progress it has made recently.
'Syria's been under a lot of pressure to do well,' he said. 'And there's been a lot of negativity around. People say that the government is murdering its citizens, gassing its children and bringing it to the brink of civil war, and that America will bomb the daylights out of it very soon.
'Well that's one point of view, but it's so negative! I'd like everyone to concentrate on the positive aspects. For instance, now that every village, town and city has been ruined, there's the opportunity to rebuild and go forward. And with everyone dead, it means that there can be new blood - instead of all the blood on the streets and in the hospitals.
'I'd like everyone to say how well the country is doing, and to really get behind the man in charge, as he is always such a key ingredient. I'd like to see people supporting him, giving him many more chances to get it right and giving him the money he deserves.
'And most of all, he should get the total support of the media for everything he does, otherwise he should be able to shoot the lot of them.