Language of Euro 2020 pundits


Sir, – It has become clear that the soccer pundits who commentate on the Euro 2020 games and those of us who merely watch them, are separated by a common language.

They routinely use phrases that are, to be polite about it, fairly obscure to ordinary users of the English language.

One of the most striking is “he opens up his body”. You might assume that in normally understood English this means the player was doing a self-autopsy, a difficult job but then these are well-paid professionals, but apparently it doesn’t. I don’t actually know what it means.

Players in one game were, according to the commentator, getting a “dirty ball’, nothing you would think that a clean rag would sort out but apparently it is not a hygiene issue.

Players were said “to have put their foot through it”, the “it” being the ball. Apparently, this means they hit the ball hard and straight, a basic skill in football. In the absence of a translation service or of explanatory subtitles, the Euro 2020 is fast becoming a tournament best watched with the sound turned off. – Yours , etc,