a referee who runs; an athlete who whistles


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Modernity has wiped out soccer referees in poor shape. The Fofisano members, to define them in a loving way, are part of a past that will never come back. How nostalgic it is to see images of those struggling with the whistle, in strict black, many with mustaches, passing fatiguitas to follow the play. Now, however, anyone has an enviable physical condition and prepares like an elite athlete.

The best example is Mohamed Massat (Morocco, 1994), which combines the matches in the Third RFEF of Castilla-La Mancha with popular races. This Sunday he was third in the Madrid Half Marathon, with a time of 1: 08.37. It is a level brand, taking into account that the capital of Spain “is a city with quite a few hills.” Massat entered the finish line only behind Toni Abadía (1: 07.11) and Tariku Novales (1: 07.28), both professional riders.

“It was spectacular. There was a lot of participation and a very good atmosphere. I did not expect to be third, although the brand did because I had been training for this test all summer, “he explains to ABC by phone. It had been five years since he had run such a long distance and in recent months he had only participated in one ten-kilometer race in Calzada de Calatrava, which he won.

Massat came to Spain at the age of 14, in the company of relatives, and settled in Miguelturra. At 18 he ran the Ciudad Real Half Marathon, where he lives today. He did it without a number, because he was late to register, and without training, because he had never participated in a race before. And still he was fifth. “I realized that I was running a lot,” he acknowledges. The next step was to join the Club Unión Atlética Ciudad Real, to which he continues to belong.

So football was already part of his life. At first, he played. It was extreme, very fast, but “a little bad,” he says with a laugh. That is why, at the age of 16, he took a course to be a referee. «It was the best thing I have done. The arbitration has given me many things: responsibility, improvement, meeting new people, teamwork … », he lists.

Fourth official in a First Division match
Fourth official in a First Division match – ABC

In Second B with 22 years

His career with the whistle was meteoric. He moved up one category per year and in 2016, at just 22 years old, he made his debut in Second B. During two seasons, he refereed thirty games in the bronze category and also served as the fourth referee in First Division matches. However, in 2018 it dropped to Third. It is assumed that “I was not at the level of my peers, but I do not lose the illusion. I keep working and at some point I hope to return, “he says.

Graduated in Primary Education teaching, he is employed in an educational center and from there comes his main source of income. Athletics, despite its great performance, is a hobby; and he dedicates weekends to arbitration. This Saturday, at 6:00 p.m., the Tarancón-Villarrobledo beeps.

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