Football conversation questions
In the United States football refers to American football, a sport played with an oval ball.
In most other countries football is association football, a sport played with a spherical ball and the topic of this article.
- Typically the same clubs win every time. Is this fair? How could things be changed?
- Many years ago players for a particular team used to only come from that team's local area. Nowadays players for "local" teams come from all over the world. What is your opinion of this change?
- In some countries there seems to be a link between violence and vandalism with football. Why should this be?
- Which country has the most enjoyable football?
- Do you ever watch women's football? Why, why not?
- Should hooligans be banned from football?
Football is a very popular game – but could it be improved? Joseph “Sepp” Blatter came up with some innovative suggestions some time ago about improving the spectacle. Before looking at his suggestions, how do you think that the game could be improved?
- How could it be made more interesting?
- How could women’s football be made more popular as a spectator sport?
- Are there ways in which the game could obtain more money from advertising?
- How could the quality of referees’ decisions be improved? Should the quality of their decisions be improved or are debates about their decisions a necessary part of the game?
- How could the game be made less dangerous for skillful players?
- Would you like to see any changes in the “extra time” rule?
- Are there any other changes you would like to see?
- How can technology improve football?
- Do you think that football has changed in last 10 years?
- What will football be like 100 years from now?
Suggestions for improvement
Mr Blatter’s ideas are summarised below. Suggestions from others are shown in italics. What do you think of each idea?
- Draws should be eliminated and penalties should be used to give a result for every game.
- Tighter and “more feminine” clothes for female players would make the spectacle more popular.
- Female players should have a kit based on tennis clothes.
- Male players should also have more revealing kit.
- Aggressive tackles should be prohibited so as to protect more skilful players.
- Bigger goals would allow for more goals to be scored.
- Goal posts should be made substantially thicker so that a near miss would be more likely to rebound into play.
- Neon advertising could be placed on the thicker posts.
- Points could be given for rebounds off the thicker posts.
- The linesman could be on pitch to assist the referee.
- Two or more referees could be on the pitch at the same time.
- All referees should be professional.
- The game could be divided into quarters to allow for more TV advertising.
- The offside rule should be abolished.
- Extra time should be abolished.
Football players (footballers)
- What is your opinion of football players' salaries?
- A football player has a career of, perhaps, 15 years. With such a short working life, do they deserve high salaries?
- What are the disadvantages of playing football for a living?
- draw: when two teams score the same number of goals, and therefore there is no winner.
- fan: abbreviation of fanatic, an enthusiast.
- FIFA /ˈfiːfə/: International Federation of Association Football is the governing body of association football.
- footie, footy: informal names for Association football (British English)
- hooligan: noisy and violent sports fan.
- pitch: the rectangular field where a sport is played.
- soccerAmE /ˈsɒkər/: In the United States, association football (the topic of this article) is called soccer derived from the spelling of the word "association".
- The Guardian, Soccer chief's red card for draws. Sepp Blatter's original comments. Highly recommended.
- Learning English Through Football, weekly podcast