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Tottenham's Steve Bergwijn is fouled.

Football English: Fouls

Football English: Fouls

In this week's Premier Skills English Podcast, Rich and Jack are at home watching a match. They support different teams. The language focus is on words and phrases we use when players commit fouls. In this week's task, we want you to respond to three fouls that you see on the pitch. Don't forget to listen to the end of the podcast because we have a new football phrase for you to guess.

Transcript

If the listening was a bit difficult, you can listen and read the transcript at the same time.
Read the transcript and listen at the same time.

Football English: Fouls

Introduction

Jack: Hello my name’s Jack

Rich: and I’m Rich and welcome to this week’s Premier Skills English podcast.

Jack: In the Premier Skills English podcast, we talk about football and help you with your English. 

Rich: Don’t forget you can find the transcript for all our podcasts on the Premier Skills English website.

Jack: This week we’re going to focus on football English and, more specifically, words and phrases we use connected to fouls on the pitch.

Rich: We’re going to talk about fouls and what you say when one player fouls another player.

Jack: Well, that depends, doesn’t it?

Rich: What does it depend on?

Jack: It depends on whether the player that commits the foul is on your team or not.

Rich: Ah yes, of course. So, in the roleplay, we’re going to be using words and phrases we often say when a player on our team is fouled and when it’s a player on our team that commits the foul.

Jack: After the roleplay, we’ll look at some football English connected to fouls in more detail.

Rich: After the language focus, we have a task for you to do. You’re going to listen to a commentator describing three events on the pitch. Your task is to respond to each of these events using the language from this podcast.

Jack: If you are listening to us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or any other podcast platform, you should also check out our website.

Rich: On the Premier Skills English website you’ll find the transcript, examples and activities to help you understand the language, and a task for you to complete.

Jack: Before we start this week’s roleplay we need to look back at last week’s football phrase.

Social

Jack: We want to give you the answer to last week’s football phrase and congratulate those of you who got the right answer.

Rich: Sapham43 from Vietnam was the first with the right answer on the website last week so well done to you!

Jack: The correct answer was transfer gossip so well done to HSN from Turkey, Robert Tavares from Brazil and Luibomyr from Ukraine who also got the right answer.

Rich: And well done to all of you who said transfer rumours, you very nearly got the right answer.  Have another listen to the football phrase now:

Jack: The football phrase was transfer gossip. At the moment there is a lot of transfer gossip in the newspapers and online. This phrase is used to describe rumours about which players are signing for which clubs and things like that.

Rich: At the end of the podcast we’ll have a new football phrase for you.

Introduction to roleplay

Rich: In the roleplay we’re watching football on TV. We support different teams.

Jack: While you’re listening to the roleplay, we want you to answer a question. 

Rich: The question is: Does the referee award a penalty or not?

Roleplay

Rich: Referee! That’s gotta be a pen! It’s a definite penalty!

Jack: A penalty? He never touched him! That’s a dive!

Rich: What’s the ref doing?

Jack: It’s going to VAR. Now we’ll see.

Rich: He’s gotta go! That’s gotta be a red. You can’t fly into a tackle like that. Studs up two-footed … horrible.

Jack: What are you talking about? He got the ball. It was a fifty-fifty challenge - hard but fair! He went down way too easily!

Rich: What’s the ref given? It’s a penalty! Get in!

Jack: What a soft decision!

LANGUAGE FOCUS

Rich: Before the roleplay, we asked you a question. The question was: Does the referee award a penalty or not?

Jack: The answer is yes, the referee awarded a penalty. A decision that Rich agreed with but I didn’t.

Rich: Fouls and penalty decisions are often subjective. You usually get two different views and different language from the two sets of fans.

Jack: Yes, it’s always difficult for the man or woman in the middle - the referee.

Rich: Let’s look at some of the language you heard in the example conversation.

Jack:  What about … that’s gotta be a red. 

Rich: That’s gotta be a red. That’s a common phrase. We use this when we think a player should get a red card. 

Jack: You might also hear ‘That’s gotta be a yellow’ which means the referee should give the player a yellow card, or ‘that’s gotta be a booking’ which means the same thing.

Rich: A more difficult phrase we often hear is ‘he’s gotta go for that’ or ‘he’s gotta walk for that’ which means the player should get a red card.

Jack: We often use gotta here, ‘He’s gotta get a red’ rather than ‘he has got to get a red’ or ‘he must get a red’. 

Rich: And of course, fans scream for penalty kicks all the time. You might hear ‘that’s gotta be a pen!’.

Jack: Pen?

Rich: It’s short for penalty. You could shout ‘that’s a definite pen’ or a more difficult phrase is ‘that’s a stonewall penalty’.

Jack: A stonewall is a type of wall you find in the countryside. They are very clear and you can see them for miles, so a stonewall penalty is a very, very clear penalty when the foul is really obvious. I don’t think we use stonewall as an adjective in many other situations.

Rich: No, we just say stonewall penalty. But, remember this all changes when it’s your player doing the fouling. When it’s your team that commits the foul.

Jack: One common phrase you might use is ‘he never touched him’. This phrase will still be used by fans even if it was a two-footed flying ninja type tackle at a player’s head.

Rich: Or maybe if you’re feeling generous you will change it to ‘he hardly touched him’!

Jack: Fans will also accuse opposition players of diving - pretending they have been fouled and falling to the ground. ‘That’s a dive’ is a common phrase to shout at the television.

Rich: This is sometimes changed to ‘that’s a blatant dive’. Blatant again means really obvious.

Jack: Or another common phrase is ‘he went down far too easily’ or ‘she went to ground too easily’.

Rich: I have a really strange phrase that I think is funny. It’s ‘he went down like a sack of spuds’. This means he dived … he fell to the ground very easily. A sack is a bag and a spud is a potato. He went down like a sack of potatoes … he went down like a bag of spuds. Silly really, but I like it.

Jack: Some other phrases you might want to use when your player commits a foul are ‘it was a fifty-fifty ball’, ‘she won the ball’ and ‘hard but fair’. All of these are phrases we use to say our player shouldn’t be penalised or punished.

Rich: We’ll look at these phrases and a few more in the lesson which you can find below this podcast.

Jack: We’re now going to play the roleplay again. listen out for some of the phrases we’ve been talking about.

ROLEPLAY REPEAT

Rich: Ref! That’s gotta be a pen! It’s a definite penalty!

Jack: A penalty? He never touched him! That’s a dive!

Rich: What’s the ref doing?

Jack: It’s going to VAR. Now we’ll see.

Rich: He’s gotta go! That’s gotta be a red. You can’t fly into a tackle like that. Studs up two-footed … horrible

Jack: What are you talking about? He got the ball. It was a fifty-fifty challenge - hard but fair! He went down way too easily!

Rich: What’s the ref given? It’s a penalty! Get in!

Jack: What a soft decision!

TASK

Jack: You’re going to listen to a commentator describing three events on the pitch. Your task is to respond to each of these events using the language from this podcast.

Rich: It’s up to you to decide if the players committing the fouls are on your team or if they are your opponents. 

Jack: Situation 1: The ball is played into the box and they jump for the ball. Has it come off her hand? The referee points to the spot.

Rich:Situation 2: He’s clean through and he’s pulled back by the defender. The referee reaches to her pocket and it’s red.

Jack: Situation 3: That’s a high tackle and the attacker looks like he’s in some pain. 

Rich: I’m not sure the defender’s touched him. I’d need to see the replay.

Jack: Write all your responses in the comments section on the Premier Skills English website.

FOOTBALL PHRASE 

Jack: It’s time for this week’s football phrase. Have you got one, Rich?

Rich: I have. This week’s football phrase is * **** *******. This is when a player goes down in the box very easily and there is minimal contact between the attacker and the defender but the referee still points to the spot. Maybe it should have been given or maybe not and commentators may describe the award as * **** *******. 

Jack: If you’re not sure about the adjective in this phrase, have a listen to the roleplay again because the answer is in there!

Rich: If you have a football phrase that you would like us to use in the podcast, just get in touch and let us know.

Jack: Right, that’s all we have time for this week! Don’t forget to write your answers to our questions and make a guess at our football phrase in the comments below. If you get it right, we’ll announce your name on next week’s podcast. 

Rich: If you have a question for us about football or English you can email us at premierskills@britishcouncil.org

Jack: or you can leave your questions and comments on the website in the comments section or on our Facebook page.

Rich: or you could give us a rating and a fantastic review on Apple Podcasts.

Jack: Bye for now and enjoy your football!

Referees can ask VAR to check any possible serious foul on the pitch.

Language

The language you need when a player commits a foul

In the listening, Rich and Jack split the language into two categories:

  1. When a player on your team is fouled
  2. When a player on your team commits a foul

Some fouls are worse than others.

When a player on your team is fouled

When you see one of your players fouled on the pitch the first reaction of a fan is often to shout for a free-kick or penalty, or for the opposition player to be punished. Jack and Rich used these examples:

Ref! That's gotta be a pen!

He's gotta go!  That's gotta be a red! 

These expressions are informal versions of more complete ways to say the same thing. Look at the sentences below can you fill in the gaps?

R _ _ _ _ _ _! That ___ ___ ___ be a p _ _ _ _ _ _!

He ____ ____ __ be s _ _ _ o _ _! That has ___ __ __ a red ____!

What other phrases did you hear that describe what to say when your player is fouled?

Wolverhampton's Adama Traore is fouled.

Language

When a player on your team commits a foul

When you see one of your players commit a foul on the pitch the first reaction of a fan is often to deny that a foul has happened and to criticise the opposition player and/or referee for awarding a freekick or penalty. Rich and Jack used these examples:

He never touched him! That's a dive!

She got the ball. It was a fifty-fifty challenge.

Did you hear any similar examples? Can you think of more? Write your answers in the comments section at the bottom of the page.

Referees have to make difficult decisions.

The answers to the quiz below are all words that Rich and Jack used in the conversation. Can you remember what they said?

Quiz

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Task

That's a foul!

Tottenham's Steven Bergwijn in action against Aston Villa.

In this podcast, Jack and Rich described three different situations. You have to decide if the player is on your team or is an opponent. Then, you need to respond using some of the language that was used in the podcast. Here are the situations again: 

  1. The ball is played into the box and they jump for the ball. Has it come off her hand? The referee points to the spot.
  2. He’s clean through and he’s pulled back by the defender. The referee reaches to her pocket and it’s red.
  3. A: That’s a high tackle and the attacker looks like he’s in some pain. B: I’m not sure the defender’s touched him. I’d need to see the replay.

Think how you could use some of the phrases Rich and Jack introduced in this podcast and then write your answers below. And, don't forget to make a guess at this week's football phrase!

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Comments

mobeckham's picture
mobeckham
03/08/2021
TR
6371
points

1. It's never touched her hand! That's a soft penalty!
The ref should've checked the VAR!
It's not a penalty even in your wildest dreams!

2. He's hardly touched him! it's a 50/50 challenge!
Hard but fair. it could be yellow but never a red at all!

3. What a dive! this gotta be a booking for the striker for his dive!
The VAR is checking! No pen Thanks Goodness!
That's a fair decision :)


mobeckham's picture
mobeckham
03/08/2021 00:21
Turkey
Manchester United
6371

1. It's never touched her hand! That's a soft penalty!
The ref should've checked the VAR!
It's not a penalty even in your wildest dreams!

2. He's hardly touched him! it's a 50/50 challenge!
Hard but fair. it could be yellow but never a red at all!

3. What a dive! this gotta be a booking for the striker for his dive!
The VAR is checking! No pen Thanks Goodness!
That's a fair decision :)

Robert Tavares's picture
Robert Tavares
26/07/2021
BR
399
points

Hi everyone!
I bet that the football phase is: a dive penalty.
Best wishes!
By!


Robert Tavares's picture
Robert Tavares
26/07/2021 23:31
Brazil
Leeds United
399

Hi everyone!
I bet that the football phase is: a dive penalty.
Best wishes!
By!

Kazu
25/07/2021
JP
38
points

1. Yeees! That's a stonewall penalty!
2. No way! He's not going anyway!
3. That's a dive! He never touched him!
This week's football phare is "* **** decision"


Kazu
25/07/2021 04:12
Japan
Aston Villa
38

1. Yeees! That's a stonewall penalty!
2. No way! He's not going anyway!
3. That's a dive! He never touched him!
This week's football phare is "* **** decision"

hsn's picture
hsn
24/07/2021
TR
3124
points

TASK
1-Committer player on my team; Referee Please check VAR.The ball’s not been touched.
2- Committer player an opponent; That’s gotta be a red. (In the six yard box) That’s stonewall pen.
3- Committer player an opponent; he went down like a sack of spuds.
P.S.
• We say; "She/He went down like a baker's peel"-:)
• In my opinion, committing foul is a incapability of a player. There is no any excuse for this.Instead of foul, player should have tackle fairly and gain the ball or to prevent opponent to score. It isn't important which the player commits foul .On my team or not.


hsn's picture
hsn
24/07/2021 11:18
Turkey
Tottenham Hotspur
3124

TASK
1-Committer player on my team; Referee Please check VAR.The ball’s not been touched.
2- Committer player an opponent; That’s gotta be a red. (In the six yard box) That’s stonewall pen.
3- Committer player an opponent; he went down like a sack of spuds.
P.S.
• We say; "She/He went down like a baker's peel"-:)
• In my opinion, committing foul is a incapability of a player. There is no any excuse for this.Instead of foul, player should have tackle fairly and gain the ball or to prevent opponent to score. It isn't important which the player commits foul .On my team or not.

mobeckham's picture
mobeckham
24/07/2021
TR
6371
points

I think this week’s football phrase is * **** decision


mobeckham's picture
mobeckham
24/07/2021 09:20
Turkey
Manchester United
6371

I think this week’s football phrase is * **** decision

mobeckham's picture
mobeckham
25/07/2021
TR
6371
points

Maybe it's * **** ******* then


mobeckham's picture
mobeckham
25/07/2021 08:48
Turkey
Manchester United
6371

Maybe it's * **** ******* then

Marco Zapien's picture
Marco Zapien
23/07/2021
MX
79
points

* **** *******


Marco Zapien's picture
Marco Zapien
23/07/2021 23:14
Mexico
Wolverhampton Wanderers
79

* **** *******

Vic
23/07/2021
MX
817
points

Its no fair, that, a pen?, He never touch the ball, was a hard challenge, fifty-firty, gosh, tha ref be a blind!!

That was a dive, was a hardly touched him, the player went down like a sack of spuds.

That´s it´s a trip, that’s a blatant dive.


Vic
23/07/2021 16:48
Mexico
Liverpool
817

Its no fair, that, a pen?, He never touch the ball, was a hard challenge, fifty-firty, gosh, tha ref be a blind!!

That was a dive, was a hardly touched him, the player went down like a sack of spuds.

That´s it´s a trip, that’s a blatant dive.

Vic
23/07/2021
MX
817
points

a bag of spuds


Vic
23/07/2021 16:40
Mexico
Liverpool
817

a bag of spuds

gitaandari
23/07/2021
ID
23
points

The phrase is a blatant dive


gitaandari
23/07/2021 14:54
Indonesia
Manchester United
23

The phrase is a blatant dive

Leaderboard

Top Scorers
RankNameScore
1mobeckham6371
2Alex_from_Ukraine6155
3wsanta5014
4kwesimanifest4754
5Liubomyr4408
6elghoul3988
7assemjuve3705
8aragorn19863557
9Gergő Nagy3396
10haydi3189
Country ranking
RankNameScore
1Colombia71655
2Ukraine33843
3Serbia27078
4Spain24219
5Brazil21487
6Albania20577
7Macedonia19063
8Vietnam18064
9Turkey16338
10Bosnia and Herzegovina16268
Club ranking
RankNameScore
1Manchester United129828
2Liverpool97943
3Chelsea81625
4Arsenal77632
5Manchester City48495
6Tottenham Hotspur14171
7Leicester City12430
8Newcastle United9872
9Leeds United5930
10West Ham United5319

Level

3
Average: 3 (1 vote)

Goals

Skills: Listening

Language: Fouls

Task: Write a min dialogue