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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Average: 5 (3 votes)
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Submitted by yt_Dr.X on Wed, 31/05/2023 - 08:37


i don't like to watch football match because whay i watch it when i can play it?

Submitted by lama190 on Thu, 01/12/2022 - 20:53


i like to watch football and really I enjoy when I watching the match but the only thing that i don't like to see it the hooligans footballs

Submitted by Abo0od2022 on Sat, 04/06/2022 - 13:24


I lot lot love football spcifiic English much, concerning people hooligan they power all the much 😂

Submitted by iramnazt7abassum on Wed, 21/04/2021 - 15:38

I like any kind of sport but I have never been to a stadium and I haven't visited any national place of sport as well. I feel very proud and very happy when a team from my country has paid effort and won. Thank you all

Submitted by Sulaiman Alshammari on Mon, 22/03/2021 - 10:07

Hi i like football matches but not too much . my favorite team club is Liverpool .the fans extremely support their teams in saudia arabia every matches , although the climate very hot in summer they watch the match in stadium . i hope to see you next episode .

Submitted by Oksserg on Thu, 21/01/2021 - 22:17

I'm not a football fun. But I was a football player when I was a child and tеenager. I played from 5 years to 15 years old. Every day. I was one girl in a big team of boys, but only I could bit by left leg. So I was irreplaceable left striker. I live in Ukraine, so that my lovely football team was 'Dynamo' Kiev.

Submitted by Alan Singer on Sun, 03/01/2021 - 08:24

I'm not a football fan, but I really want to be. Many people love it. Then, You can talk with these guys and getting more fun. Also, football is a great culture to enjoy.

Submitted by jmajo on Sun, 27/12/2020 - 17:43

When I was younger, about 14 or 15 years old I used to like the football of my country, I used to go to the stadium to see the matches and support the "Nacional Club of Football" from Montevideo, but nowadays the level of quality is really bad and I don't support them any more, I don't use to go to the stadiums either but although the national clubs are not so good I try to see the national team every time they play. There are some hooligans in my country supporting the most important clubs but they're not so violent as they're in other countries, they sometimes hurt each other out of the stadiums though. I'd prefer to see Spanish football or English football instead, because of the greater quality and the technique they have, despite the Uruguayan teams are not so good, there are lots of Uruguayan players playing in the most important clubs all over the world like Manchester United and Atletico Madrid at the moment. I think I like football most than other sports because in my country we have a historical culture of football and almost every person here played at least once at some point of their youth, and nowadays most and most women are playing it, so it's a sport that everyone can play.

Submitted by nram.1983 on Fri, 27/11/2020 - 04:11

I am not a football fan, but I do follow some international matches. In india we have foot ball team, but not many fans following them, indians mostly following cricket than football.

Submitted by khaled___qq on Mon, 02/11/2020 - 21:05

I love english league and I encourage chelsea and the favorite player is drogba I hope I write it well that’s all see u next episode.