Mario Escobar, the Guatemalan referee confirmed by FIFA to feature in the Qatar 2022 World Cup
“He was a few steps away from being able to be present at France 98, I was just a child, and I know that he is happy about this achievement, because he knows more than anyone what we experience in this career,” Escobar detailed for a national Guatemalan channel.
22 years ago, according to the Prensa Libre media outlet, Mario Alberto Escobar Toca began his career as a professional referee, following in the footsteps of his father, Mario Efraín Escobar, who was only a few steps away from participating in France 1998.
He had recently made his debut in the National League and dreamed of one day reaching a World Cup.
Although this dream served as motivation since childhood, the effort and discipline of training, prioritizing and getting up early every morning were the reason why in May of this year, the National Soccer Federation (Fedefut) announced that Mario Alberto Escobar Toca is confirmed to participate and be one of the 36 central referees in the Qatar 2022 World Cup.
As Escobar mentions, he is aware of the commitment and responsibility that he carries on behalf of his profession and nationality, “Although the anthem will not sound at the World Cup, I will carry Guatemala deep inside of me, knowing that I have a great obligation. It will be very exciting to be able to be there when given the opportunity. Believe me that I will give my best effort to represent you all in the best way in the World Cup”
Escobar Toca will be the fourth referee in the history of Guatemalan soccer to reach a World Cup, preceded by Rómulo Méndez (Spain 1982 and Mexico 1986), Carlos Batres (South Africa 2010) and Walter López (Brazil 2014). He will also participate with six female referees selected by FIFA; motivation and encouragement that women are also capable of reaching these standards and that, over the years, their gender and profession have received more praise and been made more visible.
Today, Escobar elevates his surname, name, country and effort, which will shine when he blows his whistle on the pitches of Qatar 2022.