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 carlosjprieto on Fri, 20/09/2019 - 12:01

Hello. I dont like football because when i was children never played football with my father or friends. My father dont like football and my mom is the same. In colombia more and more people like football . Some time there are some matches that are dangerous because sometime there are hooligans

Submitted by Andrew Utkin on Fri, 23/08/2019 - 13:28

Hi everyone. I am fond of football and my brother as well. I live in Russia but I do not like Russian football at all. I`d rather support German teams. My favorite is called "Hamburg SV".
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Submitted by Duy Nguyen on Tue, 25/06/2019 - 18:22

Hello everyone, I'm Duy and I'm from Vietnam. Most of people just watch football matches in my country. I know this sport is well-known by name King of sport but personally I think it's a little unfair to the other sport such as volleyball, swimming, basketball...I feel football is a bit of violent though. I'm not a football fan but I sometimes cheer with the crowd when Vietnam's football team win in matches. The only thing is some football fans have a low consciousness. They scream and use bottles to make noise sounds when their team win and they can break anything when their team lose. The illegally motoring races are the typical thing after the matches. These days, they down to streets to courage their team so the traffic jams are getting more and more regular. I hope they will celebrate the victory in a more civilized manner.
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Submitted by Arwa_amq on Sun, 16/06/2019 - 11:37

I don’t like football at all and i don’t know why it’s just looks boring

Submitted by Yury Taborsky on Wed, 08/05/2019 - 22:04

I do not like football in our country because they cannot play very well.

Submitted by parisaach on Mon, 29/04/2019 - 10:42

In my country there are many football teams and all of them has special fans, but we have two popular football team which has the most fans in the country and fan of these team always want to prove their team is the best, and mock the other team. But fans of one of these teams which is named "Perspolis" are really hooligen. they always fight and break everything when they lose .

Submitted by Patricia Zapata on Thu, 11/04/2019 - 21:33

My favorite team is the team of my country, Colombia, and when they play and they win, the fans go out on the streets to celebrate and to dance all together. It's for me beautifull, because you can see every street whith the Colombia flag and you can listening and dancing the colombian music that is very cheerfull and autoctone.
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Submitted by Ethel on Thu, 21/03/2019 - 11:44

I do not like football, really. In my country almost all people are very fond of football. It is the most popular sport. When there is an important game (it is never for me, I am sorry), the whole country is paralyzed. I hate that. The emergency services do not even respond. Fans of the winning team make noise and trash for days, and it is impossible to talk about another topic.

Submitted by chunya on Fri, 08/03/2019 - 11:01

I don't like football. But I have friends who are football fans. The whole family - husband, wife and tho sons (9 and 14 yaears old) - like football and watch all interesting matches. Moreover, the boys train in the kids football team. Fortunately, they are jast the football fans, not a hooligans )))
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Submitted by Ndayishimiye on Sat, 09/02/2019 - 14:34

As many young people and olds I like football as my first preference sport. In my country football is the most popular game with a lot of fans. we have two senior football clubs, they are rivers. Every match between them requires a big number of security offices to avoid conflicts and fight among supports on both sides where one fan group call themselves hooligans. But generally at the football match people enjoy and relax despite the lack of modern infrastructures as pitches and stadiums