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!


Language level

Average: 5 (3 votes)

Submitted by Abu Nahayan on Wed, 06/05/2020 - 18:04

Hi everybody I like my teem which his name AL NASSER Club in Riyadh, we don't have hooligans fans in Saudi Arabia, maybe because we Muslims country & our culture against these things.

Submitted by Bruno2020 on Wed, 22/04/2020 - 16:18

Which team do you support? Why? What do football fans do in your country? What happens at football matches?My football team here in Brazil is Atletico Mineiro.Well,we are not winings many matches but we will get there. The football is the main and most popular sport in Brazil.

Submitted by clauvera2016 on Wed, 08/04/2020 - 10:59

Hi ! I'm back... Please, could you check the transcript ? A final part of it (that with the repetitive words) misses. I don't know if it's a problem at my computer or this final part really misses. Thank you very much !

Hello clauvera2016

I'm sorry for the confusion. Could you please tell us the time code (for example, 9:36) where it seems to be different?

All the best


The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by clauvera2016 on Wed, 08/04/2020 - 10:50

Hi there ! I never liked football matches. Maybe because I never watched a game to the end or because no one in my family don't watch a football match too often. I find it very boring and noisy...

Submitted by Israa Moha on Sun, 23/02/2020 - 19:00

I don't prefer to watch football matches, but if it occurs I feel boring. It is really boredom. When my brothers watching match they make noise and troubles. I hate noise in all its form.

Submitted by Abdo sleem on Sat, 23/11/2019 - 11:27

i never watched any matches before in stadium i prefer to play football as irregular but sometime i watch important matches on tv i support egyption team.
Profile picture for user kamicounciler

Submitted by kamicounciler on Tue, 22/10/2019 - 22:49

I love Sepidrood Football team,that s the oldest football team of our city, rasht. i am a fan of perspolis football team too,they are one of the most famous football teams in iran.footbal is very popular in iran and lots of people go to stadiums to watch the matches,also women are becoming football fan in iran but they dont have legal rights to enter the stadiums,last month a girl called "dokhtare aabi" fired herslef because the court had sentenced her to jail for her attempt to enter an stadium.that was so sad.after that and as FIFA had its pressure on iran to let women enter stadiums,finally women could watch their national footbal team friendlly match againts kamboj,although no legal right officially has been registered to let women enter stadiums.
Profile picture for user Sergey Sh

Submitted by Sergey Sh on Tue, 24/09/2019 - 07:35

I can’t say I’m a football fan but time by time, find it enough interesting to watch some match where there are many exciting moments with talented players. It turned out that I had never have any interest in football before I introduced to university and began living at its hostel. At the storey where I lived there were students, most part of them consisted of only football fans. That’s more than a half of all storey. Every time when it was some big match on TV, everybody met to watch it together. Gradually it made me wonder of this kind of sport more and more. You know, when you communicate with people who know so much in some craft you become to know different subtleties making you being interested. One of my best friend and fellow student was hooked on football and told me that every team has its own tactics and something interesting from bio of famous players and stuff. I wasn’t present on matches where at the stadium were dangerous hooligans causing problems, but unfortunately I had to watch these situations on national TV news here in Russia.