It may be August but the new football season is starting throughout Europe. We thought now was a good time to update our football idioms post. Here you can learn some of the many football idioms commonly used in everyday English.


Football Idioms:

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    To blow the whistle on someone

    To expose or report something which is illegal. "The factory had been illegally dumping waste into the river for years until one of their workers blew the whistle on them and told the authorities".

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    To score an own goal

    To do something which unintentionally harms one's own interests. "He scored an own goal when he fired Susan. He'll never find another manager as good as her".

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    A political football

    Something which is the subject of continual political controversy or change. "Education is a political football. Every time a new government is elected they change everything".

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    To watch from the sidelines.

    To observe but not actively participate in something. "He comes to the meetings, but only watches from the sidelines. He never says anything".

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    To move the goalposts.

    To unfairly change the rules or conditions during a procedure. "Andres thought he was ready to apply for his work visa, but now they have moved the goalposts again. They now want a higher level of English".

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    To kick something off.

    To start or launch something. "Don't be late. The party kicks off at 10pm".

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    To be in a league of one's own.

    To be of a class or category superior to all others, "She is such a good lawyer, she is in a league of her own."

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    To be on the ball.

    To be aware of what is happening and quick to respond. "I'm going to get an early night tonight. I have to be on the ball tomorrow, I have a very important meeting."

Football Idioms
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