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 Shimah90 on Tue, 27/10/2020 - 19:04

In my country, I support a team called Al Ittihad. I like it because it's strong and I was raised to love it. He has won more and more trophies and is always on top. but now Unfortunately, things have changed with his players and managers changing. Our football fans like competition and In a football match they use special songs for their team. Recently women have been allowed to attend the matches and I am happy about that

Submitted by Mohammedalbassami on Fri, 16/10/2020 - 17:52

Good evening everyone I fancy in playing football when I was a kid every day I played but now I have injuried in my knee so I need surgery otherwise I can't play. I suppose to do it next year. I support Oman national team. Also my city club team called Alrustaq team.

Submitted by Mazoon AL.Ghssani on Sun, 04/10/2020 - 11:21

Hi, I am not a fan for any team club. I don't like football at all, but if it's the team of my country and there is a prize of them then I will absolutely watching it.

Submitted by Mohammedalbassami on Fri, 16/10/2020 - 16:10

In reply to by Mazoon AL.Ghssani

Actually most of omani girls like you because still culture effects in that also there isn't satiable stadium for girls
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Submitted by Czar Aaron on Wed, 30/09/2020 - 15:30

Hi everybody! I came from Poland. When I had been little child, my uncle named me Pele ;)) Yes, football was a popular sport in Poland even in communism TV. Football is still popular now there. In Poland is many football clubs and many different football teams in different towns and cities. Example: Warsaw "Legia" and Krakow "Wisła", sometimes fans of these teams do not like each other. Hooligans of different football teams beats other hooligans of other football teams. But they have a stadium ban if were using violence. Sometimes they use smooggle flares during matches and the matches are stopping because a smoke is too big. Sometimes the hooligans show controversial posters during the matches like anti-Semitism, racism or homophobia. But of course many matches is calm and many families watch it at the stadiums and many football fans have good emotions for this sport.

Submitted by Ahmed 99 on Mon, 31/08/2020 - 22:23

football is the most popular sport in the world more than half world population consider themselves fans. I support FC Barcelona because they got 5 champions league and they have the best players in the world . the people in my country they support the teams like the others fans anywhere by They flutter the club flag and say specific words.
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Submitted by OlaIELTS on Fri, 21/08/2020 - 20:18

Football is a universal sport activity and it's known for it popularity globally as we have football competition like World Cup. I support Enyimba team of Nigeria. I supported them because they had efficient management and technicalities that enhances their performances. They supported their team by watching matches and buying tickets. In a football matches two teams play one another, and the one with the highest goal win the match as it's being supervised by a referee and watched by crowds and fans.

Submitted by valdez on Sat, 18/07/2020 - 15:44

Hello everyone, I'm live in Brazil. Football is very important here. I'm a Flamengo fan , but i don't understand much about it.

Submitted by Melchorita2001 on Tue, 02/06/2020 - 22:07

Regards to everybody. I am not a football fan. but I would see it if I was with somefriend that I love too much.I used to watch football with my family when I was a child, but now I am into my own thing.

Submitted by Leonardo Lisboa on Thu, 28/05/2020 - 08:19

Hi everyone, I'm Brazilian and here we call this game "Futebol". My football team is São paulo futebol clube, it is the bigest club of the country and I love him. it has 5 brazilian championships.