Episode 05

Episode 05

Tess and Ravi talk about football and hooligans in the UK and how things have changed. Adam is on holiday so we only have Rob this week.


Rob: Hello and welcome. It’s just me this week. Adam’s on holiday – lucky him. But don’t worry – he’ll be back next time. Now, thank you for writing with your stories about your first job. I loved them. I think they’re the best we’ve had so far. And it’s really interesting to find out more about you. And what an educated lot of people you are too. We’ve got dentists like Lella in Lebanon, and some teachers like Sirjoe and Angesca in Italy. And Ali Reza and TKazerooni in Iran are teachers too. And so many different stories as well. I liked Rasa’s story of using the first money she earned in Lithuania to go and see the sea. And Mac in Hong Kong gave his first salary to his mum. And do you know what, Mac? That’s exactly what I did too. So thanks again for your answers. I hope we hear as many interesting stories this time. Remember, you can write to us at the website: www.britishcouncil.org/learnenglish­ – and on Facebook –­ look for Elementary podcasts. Now it’s time to listen to Tess and Ravi. They’re talking about something British, as usual. But this time, it’s not such good news.

Ravi: Hello again from me, Ravi.

Tess: And from me, Tess. We’re here again to talk about some of the things you think you know about Britain.

Ravi: Things like ‘drinking tea’ and ‘fish and chips’ – but not everything you think about Britain is nice and positive and today we’re going to talk about something lots of you mentioned – football hooligans.

Tess: You’re a football fan, Ravi. Are you a football hooligan?

Ravi: You know, Tess, people often ask me that – people from other countries, I mean.

Tess: You, a hooligan? I don’t think so.

Ravi: I know, I know. But people sometimes think that being a football fan in England means you must be a hooligan – fighting and causing trouble and stuff.

Tess: That’s a bit strange. Why do they think that?

Ravi: Well, there was a problem here – about thirty years ago – in the nineteen seventies and nineteen eighties there was a lot of trouble and fighting and stuff. There were a couple of really bad incidents that were in the news all over the world – that’s why people sometimes think – ‘Ah, English football – hooligans’. But for the last twenty years or so it really isn’t a problem.

Tess: So why do people still think that English football fans are hooligans? [laughs] I really can’t imagine anyone thinking of you as a football hooligan, Ravi.

Ravi: Alright, Tess, you’ve already said that. I guess when you’ve got a bad reputation – like English football fans – it’s difficult to change people’s minds.

Tess: So it isn’t dangerous to go to a football match?

Ravi: Come on, Tess, you know it isn’t. You should go to a game. There are lots of women and children at matches and the new football stadiums are great – comfortable seats, great views, good food – it’s nothing like it was twenty years ago. It’s a family thing these days.

Tess: But most fans at the stadium are men, aren’t they?

Ravi: Yeah, most of the fans are men but about twenty per cent are women.

Tess: How do you know that?

Ravi: I looked it up on the internet. More and more women are going to football matches. I sometimes take my niece.

Tess: Ah, that’s nice. How old is she?

Ravi: She’s nine. She’s really into football – loves it.

Tess: Ah. So there’s never any sort of crowd trouble or anything? Don’t they have a lot of police at football matches?

Ravi: Not really, not these days. I don’t think you can say there’s no trouble at all but not in the stadium – I always feel perfectly safe there. Why don’t you come to a match with me? I’ll try to get tickets for the game next Saturday. What do you say?

Tess: Well … yeah, OK, why not? I don’t know anything about football though.

Ravi: That’s OK.

Tess: And … well, what if people think you’re a hooligan, Ravi?

Ravi: Stop it.

Rob: So, what do you think? Did you think English football fans are hooligans? Like Ravi, I’m a football fan. And people often ask me if all football fans in England are hooligans. And of course, my answer is “They’re not”.

English football seems to be really popular all over the world. My team are Aston Villa and they’re probably not as famous as some other teams in England like Manchester United or Chelsea or Liverpool. How about football teams in your country? Do you support a team? Let us know which one. And tell us about football fans in your country too. What do they do?

And if you don’t like football – and I know a lot of people don’t – write and tell us why not. Remember you can write to us at www.britishcouncil.org/learnenglish and on Facebook. Look for Elementary Podcasts.

Before I go, a quick word about some of the things Tess and Ravi talked about when they talked about football. Ravi talked about stadiums – the places where football matches are played. We talk about a football match between two teams. I’m sure you know more football words like score a goal, for example. In fact, the British Council has a website all about football and English. It’s called Premier Skills. I’ll give you the address for that. It’s www.britishcouncil.org/premierskills.

One more thing. Listen to this:

Man: More and more women are going to football matches. I sometimes take my niece.

Rob: 'More and more women.' 'More and more people.' Why are there two 'more's? Well, just because. We do this quite often in English. 'Lots and lots of people go to football matches. London is getting bigger and bigger. Prices seem to be going up and up.' It's quite nice, isn't it?

Well, that's it for this week. Remember to write to us via the LearnEnglish website, or Facebook. Adam and I will be back next time and we'll be here with Carolina. And the question is: will she have a new job? Find out next time. Bye!


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Submitted by nikoslado on Sat, 26/01/2019 - 18:24

Hello teachers and all of you helping and encouraging us to learn English. You' re all a really irreplaceable team, with a lot of knowledge, neccessary patience and, above all, gentle and communicative at this serious task.Thanks a lot... From my childwood I've loved football and I've been fun of Olympiacos team. But,I

Submitted by Nancy Nguyen on Sun, 09/12/2018 - 13:47

I like football. Every 4 years I always expect the World championship. In World cup 2018, my favorite team was France and I supported Mbappé who was my favorite player. In Vietnam, we also have some crazy football fans. They scream, angry or even throw the bottle in the pitch when their football team loses. With the tournaments in the area, when Vietnam team win, the people go to the street, sing and wave the flag to cheer and share together. I just watch the matches on TV and I hope someday I will go to the stadium to support my team.

Submitted by Zaur on Mon, 03/12/2018 - 19:47

Very interesting theme. I'm not a big football fan, but I have a friend, who really is. And he is a football hooligan. Such people has there own ideology, and sometimes it's difficult to understand them. That's why I don't speak about Russian football with him. But I like watching the World Championship, because there I can see a really good football. This year it took place in Russia. The organisation was on a very high level. The fans from all over the world visited several our cities, where matches were. And there was no any hassle, the fans were very friendly! My opinion is that no game is worth fighting between fans of opposite teams. It's just a game. And the strongest wins!)

Submitted by efec7 on Tue, 27/11/2018 - 19:33

I'm a big fan of football! in mexico football is the most popular sport. There are 4 great teams: Chivas, America, Pumas and Cruz Azul, but my favorite team are Tiburones Rojos de Veracruz, they don't do it quite well but it is the team of my state so, I have to be with them. We live football with lot of passion like all the latin american people. I don't go to the matches often but I watch the games on TV when I can.
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Submitted by Oksi1001 on Thu, 22/11/2018 - 21:17

I really like football,despite being a girl.I'm not keen on Russions championchip,but support national team on the tournaments of course. Also i support Spain and Argentina.In spite of this fact my favorite team is Barcelona. I've been watching spainish championship and the best tournament-ChampionsLeague. I really admire of beautiful and colorful play footballers,especially Leo Messi.Also i like other players of Barca-Suarez,Pique and legendary Xavi,Iniesta,Villa,Ronaldinho and so on.In other clubs i can highlite Grizmann,Neymar,although,i'll very long list..) As to football fans they are not hooligans in my city,difinately.Mayby in the whole our country they are,but most of them-adequate fans.

Submitted by Tomoaki Hachiya on Tue, 20/11/2018 - 21:56

This time, the topic was on football, but I'm afraid I'm not interested in any sports including football, and luckily there aren't any hooligans in Japan. Young people sometimes go violent, including me when I was young, they have a lot of energy and complaints at the same time, so it can't be helped to some extent. I accept their violent behaviour since I was violent sometimes when I was in my twenties. My present concern is language studying including English (of course), Arabic, French, and Chinese. And also, I used to be a Japanese teacher for foreigners after getting enough training to teach my native language Japanese. It was a good experience to me, because I was able to understand my own language from the point of view from foreigners, and I know our language is not so easy to master for foreigners. English is simple and easy to learn after all....

Submitted by guigomar on Tue, 13/11/2018 - 13:45

In my country Chile, the football is the most popular sport. The national selection team is named “La Roja”, because they use a red shirt for play. When the Roja play, all the activities in the country are stopped and the fans follow the game by TV. All the weekends, there are football games in the stadiums. The football fans are many appassionate, and when a player get a goal, the fans jump and shout of joy.
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Submitted by Sergey Sh on Wed, 07/11/2018 - 03:51

Hi! My name is Sergey, I’m from Russia. I don’t consider myself as football fan. But I can watch some separate global matches, though. I’m interested to see how technically players can play. The most interesting players to see are usually some big and famous stars like Messi, Ronaldo and so on. That’s especially cool to see how they make their goals. Football ratings, leagues, championships, interviews are not for me. When I used to study at the university, one of my classmate was a crazy football fan. He can answer whatever you ask him about football. All player’s names, their career’s progresses, dates of all important matches and stuff. When he saw some live translation of match on TV he was really excited and he worried a lot. He could throw away everything to go watching match, no way missed it. What about me, I wouldn’t say that I’m a fan of other kind of sport despite football. I’m not so interested by that stuff. But it doesn’t mean that I don’t do any physical activity. At the school I used to go swimming and to the gym. Nowadays I like to ride my mountain bike just like Tess does. Sometimes a little joggling, walking out on fresh air and camping as well.

Submitted by Mahougbe on Tue, 06/11/2018 - 13:31

I don't like football. Being a fan or even watching a footballmatch is a time waisting for me. I can take that time to do something else which is more beneficial, like reading books, helping my wife in the kitchen, playing with my child, planning for my work, etc.
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Submitted by Kukul on Wed, 17/10/2018 - 19:56

Hi I am a girl and football is not in my style. Because in my country it hasn't legated for women to go to stadium for a long time , I've never gone to. There are some several teams in my country but I don't support any team as I pointed I don't like this game :) thank you very much for your great courses