ply to the whistle Every week during the 2010-11 season, the languagecaster team explain a football phrase or cliché for learners of English who love the sport. Click on the link below to hear the word or phrase and you can also read the transcript below that. You can find many more examples by going to our football clichés here and our huge football glossary here.


Transcript: Play to the whistle

This week’s English football phrase is the expression to play to the whistle which basically means to keep playing until you hear the referee blow his whistle to stop the game. This phrase is used a lot when children first start playing football to teach them about the game and though it is not a rule it is regarded as very good advice. Unfortunately the Spurs and Brazilian goalkeeper did not play to the whistle in his team’s defeat against Manchester United at Old Trafford last weekend. The keeper threw down the ball as he felt that it was a free kick after the opposing striker Nani had handled the ball. However, the referee had not blown his whistle for a foul and so the Manchester United player kicked the ball into the empty net. Of course, there are those who say Nani did not play to the spirit of the game while others blame the keeper for not playing to the whistle. To Play to the Whistle.
Check the FA’s Website on this issue here

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Football ClichesEpisode 89