September 17, 2015 / 2:38 PM / 4 years ago

Refugee tripped by camerawoman heads for soccer coach job in Madrid

BARCELONA/MADRID (Reuters) - A Syrian refugee who was tripped by a camerawoman as he fled police in Hungary with his young son said on Thursday he was hoping to resettle his family in Spain, after a soccer school offered to help find him work.

Osama Abdul Mohsen (R), a Syrian refugee who was filmed being tripped up by a camerawoman as he fled police in Hungary with his young son, and his son Zaid sit inside a train to Madrid upon their arrival at Barcelona's Sants train station September 16, 2015. REUTERS/Elena Gyldenkerne

Videos of the man and child falling after the journalist stuck out her leg as he ran past went viral on media last week, sparking outrage internationally.

Osama Abdul Mohsen and two of his sons, including seven-year-old Zaid, who was in his arms as he fell, arrived in Madrid in the early hours of Wednesday after a local soccer coaching academy tracked him down and sought to help his family.

“This is a dream come true,” Mohsen told Reuters television on the train from Barcelona to Madrid, the final leg of a rail journey across Europe that took him via Munich and Paris.

Mohsen, who had previously coached Syrian first division team Al-Fotuwa, will be housed in Getafe, a neighborhood on the outskirts of Madrid where the Cenafe soccer school is based.

The academy is helping to pay for his lodging and along with local authorities is working to try and get his wife and the rest of his family, currently in Turkey, to join him.

“Before working or anything, I want to gather my family, because now we are all spread out and I just want to see us all together again and try to live happily here,” Mohsen said, speaking in Arabic, as he traveled with Zaid and 18-year-old son Mohammed.

Tens of thousands of people have been caught up in Europe’s worst migration crisis for decades.

In Hungary on Wednesday, riot police fired water cannon and tear gas at migrants demanding access through its newly-shut EU frontier.

Hundreds of Syrians and other migrants in Turkey are also still trying to reach Europe via Greece before poor winter weather makes the journey even more dangerous.

“I hope they (refugees in our situation) find a solution,” Mohsen said. “I have been there and I hope they can find a way out soon. I know what they are going through and it is very, very hard.”

Additional reporting by Catherine Macdonald and Guillermo Martinez; Writing by Sarah White; Editing by Catherine Evans

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