Tripped refugee heading to Spain's football academy

Syrian refugee Mohsen, who was carrying his son when he was tripped by a Hungarian camerawoman, is a football coach.

    The camerawoman was fired from her job at the right-wing N1TV online channel [Reuters]
    The camerawoman was fired from her job at the right-wing N1TV online channel [Reuters]

    The Syrian refugee who was tripped at a border hotspot by a Hungarian journalist in an incident that generated global outrage is moving to a Madrid suburb after a Spanish football academy offered to help rebuild his life.

    Osama Abdul Mohsen and his son Zaid were on a train expected to arrive in Madrid at midnight Wednesday, said Luis Miguel Pedraza of the CENAFE school that trains football coaches.

    One of the school's coaching graduates who speaks Arabic was on the train with them.

    Hungary declares state of emergency amid refugee crisis

    Mohsen was captured on video carrying his son when camerawoman Petra Laszlo tripped him and sent him tumbling to the ground in a field full of other refugees running from authorities near the Hungarian village of Roszke.

    He ended up in Germany, where media reports revealed he had been a football coach in Syria. The school then convinced him to come to Spain, where he will stay for now in an apartment near the school's training facility in the suburb of Getafe.

    The school wants to find Mohsen a job in Spain's vast football training sector but he speaks only Arabic plus a little English and would need to learn Spanish, said Pedraza, a former national level football referee.

    "The first thing is to get him settled," Pedraza said.

    "We're giving him a hand as a humanitarian gesture. Later we'll look for something. He's interested in our school."

    The school also plans to help Mohsen apply for asylum in Spain. The country last week agreed to take 17,680 refugees from Syria and other countries under a plan set up by the European Commission.

    Laszlo was fired from her job at the right-wing N1TV online channel after footage was aired of her tripping Mohsen and kicking other refugees.

    Meanwhile, the first refugees have crossed the Serbia-Croatian frontier, carving out a new route through Europe after Hungary sealed its borders.

    Earlier on Wednesday, a group of 30-40 mostly Syrian or Afghan people arrived at the Serbian town of Sid near the Croatian border. They had travelled by bus from the Macedonian border at Presevo, 500km to the south.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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