EC2010: President and a wide receiver

Category: European Championship - published 2010-07-25 by EFAF

Marc-Angelo Soumah has a rare double role in the 2010 European championships: He's the president of the French federation, but also a wide receiver for the national team.

- It's obviously not easy being on both sides, he says with a smile.

- But I get to talk with everybody head to head, and get a grassroots view of football. The players have seen on the field and know that they can come to me.

So far he hasn't found his dual role difficult.

- Only difficulty is having enough time for everything.

Being the federation president means that Soumah is also his national team's coaches' boss.

- We've got an agreement that I'm here just as a player.

Before Sunday's opening game against Sweden, the 35-year old has exactly three games left in a long and succesful career. He will retire from the playing field after France's last game of the tournament next Saturday.

- It does't even feel real yet, he says about the end of football for him.

Soumah says that the location of the EC 2010 was a big reason he chose to keep on playing for one more year. Soumah played four seasons for the Frankfurt Galaxy, won the World Bowl with the team and was also chosen NFLE National Player of the Year.

- This is a good place to end my career, he says of his former hometown.

Soumah first put on a French national team jersey in 1997. In his home country he represented Flash de La Courneuve, and also played for the Hamburg Blue Devils in the German league in addition to his years with the Galaxy. He is also one of the few European players to have caught a pass for an NFL team. In 2003 he played a couple of pre-season games with the Cleveland Browns.

As for the European championships, the president/wide receiver has confidence in his team.

- This is one of the best French teams ever. Like always, we have a lot of speed, but now the lines are better than before.

France plays the defending champions Sweden on Sunday, 16:00 p.m at Stadium Wetzlar. On Tuesday, they face Great Britain, also in Wetzlar.

Tomi Tiilikainen

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