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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Language level

Submitted by Kostya B on Sat, 22/09/2018 - 19:54

The fans in my country are the same as in England. I have no favorite team but football as a play for me is very interesting.

Submitted by hamad on Sun, 16/09/2018 - 13:33

I like one team in my country and the fans not very much supported of this team so now I hate this team because change the fans less and less difficult so in the future will be remove my best team.

Submitted by User_User on Wed, 29/08/2018 - 18:24

Hello At the beginning of this podcast Rob says how well educated some people are who sent a comment in the last episode about their first job. Why are they starting learning English? I thought that you have to take English everywhere? This is the case in German. Bye

Submitted by foofighters12 on Tue, 03/04/2018 - 18:36

I love football I've gone to a lot of matches, my favourite team is blackburn rovers I've a fan for 24 years I've them play a few times , I live in westcliff on sea so I've seen Southend United play I've been to.Wembly to see England play.I use to live in canvey island so I've seen them play I was born in Colchester so,I've seen Colchester United and grays athletics play.

Submitted by marine bitker on Thu, 01/03/2018 - 07:32

Hi everyone. I do not appreciate football so much. I am more a rugby girl. But i follow french national team during international competition like world cup or euro cup. I love the atmosphere in stadium, in bars or even in the street. All people are there for the same thing and everybody is in good mood.

Submitted by yla.jay on Sun, 11/02/2018 - 11:51

Hello everybody, I support Fc Barcelona because they play as a team and not as single players. In my country they are not big fans of football so it is not a big deal. If you don’t like football, tell us why not?

Submitted by alberto bastos on Sat, 03/02/2018 - 17:25

Hi Everbody! The world say The is the country of footbal. The brazil team had great players with Pelé, Garrincha, Zico, and today Coutinho, Neymar, William. A great fabric of players. In my Region My team is a Clube do Remo. The great team. I don't go stadium because the violence Is a great problem in the world, isn't so Brazil. I was dream that will see the final world cup between Brazil and England. The country where football born versus the country of football. Will be the match of century. Bye.

Submitted by B1968 on Thu, 01/02/2018 - 16:01

Hello everybody From Iran, and fans Esteghlal team (Blue Boys) and I love Liverpool.

Submitted by Nathan Nguyen on Wed, 13/12/2017 - 14:49

Hello, I'm from Viet Nam. I'm a proper fan of football and My favourite club is Chelsea FC. When I was child, I saw a match of Chelsea. And from that, I started to attend them. My love that I give for Chelsea FC was bigger by day after day. I love them so much.

Submitted by Yainner on Sat, 08/07/2017 - 18:12

Hello British council team. Well here in colombia there are many group of holligans as well, but they're not called like that they're called Barras Bravas, I am not going to talk about the bad things those group do because if you search in the internet you find them right away, I love soccer I support the barranquilla local team, it is Junior de Barranquilla, I go to the stadium every time it plays, I do that since I was 13, I started joining a barra-brava one year later and after a short time a got the membership. a long this time I have lived many experiencia following my team, I had travel to other place so that I see it playing, it's so sad when we lost an important match specially when it's a final. I also like to see colombia's soccer selection, though I do not go to the stadium because I can't affort the ticket, I watch all its match at my place or wherever I can. thanks for these exercises and greetings.

Submitted by erickjohan81 on Mon, 05/06/2017 - 19:11

I support Deportivo Tachira

Submitted by dianthus on Fri, 02/06/2017 - 12:30

Hi, When I was young, I loved watching football and I was strict follower of football. I support the team ,Fenerbahçe, which has the most fans in Turkey and I watched all football matches which were both on tv and in the stadium. But I haven't chased football since 2011 because of both violence and match fixing events. I think football should be fair and fun. There's no point watching football if I am not having fun watching it.

Submitted by Piotr17 on Sun, 09/04/2017 - 17:32

Hi everyone. Most of all I like volleyball. The Polish team is one oh the best teams of the World. In the 2014 year won the World Cup. I like football a little. Recently the Polish Team is playing very good and is on the eleven place in FIFA ranking. Robert Lewandowski is one of the best football player of the world. Fans in Poland always support Polish team, whether it is footballs or volleyballs, basketballs or handballs. In the stadium, when Polish team are playing with other team, fans behave calmly, like in Britain, but when plays Polish league team team isn't calmly.

Submitted by Ko on Fri, 31/03/2017 - 11:52

Hi, First of all, i don't like football not only football but also many games, because i think they are not fascinating me as much as it does others and also it's a waste of time for me. but in my country in india there are a lot of fans for Cricket, also fans for football and other games like every country. I would like to mention here about a friend of mine in my room where i live now, He is a great football fan, whenever it comes to match he always watch it without missing it even if it is midnight as indian time, he has a long list of people so he always would be updated with matches. that's the really a good thing that i would appreciate him. Thanks

Submitted by ejossue on Wed, 08/03/2017 - 18:42

I don't really support a football team, but I like football, it's just that I get bored sometimes when the match is not that interesting. I get into a match in the final matches, they're the best sometimes.

Submitted by daizykiran on Mon, 27/02/2017 - 05:21

I don't like football and I am not much more interested in any sport.But I have a knowledge of many sports including football.

Submitted by anaisavecas on Mon, 23/01/2017 - 01:46

hi dear British Council team. I listen to the British Council´s elementary podcasts on my mobile, and I realice that the series three episode five does not end the same as in computer. Into my mobile device there is an explanation about why there are two "mores" and so make the task five. Regards

Hello anaisavecas,

I'm sorry about this, and we thank you for pointing out this discrepancy to us. I'll check with our mobile team and we'll fix this as soon as we can. In the meantime, I suppose the best thing to do would be to just continue.

Thanks again.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team