Dutch Linesman Dies after Vicious Assault by Players


Dutch football is in shock after the death of a linesman who was assaulted by teenage players during a game.

The attack came during a youth league match between Amsterdam club Nieuw Sloten and Buitenboys club from the town of Almere.

The official who has been named as 41-year-old Richard Nieuwenhuizen ran the line for the Buitenboys club every week according to club chairman Marcel Oost .

Tragically one of his own sons was on the Buitenboys team.

The club announced his death officially on twitter:

“With great sadness we announce the death of our @Buitenboys linesman Richard Nieuwenhuizen. Our thoughts are with his family. Our linesman Richard died at 17:30 in front of his family. This violence must stop on the pitch! #stopsenselessviolence.”

Three players on the Nieuw Sloten club aged between 15 and 16 have been arrested.

A statement from Nieuw Sloten on the club website related their own shock (Translation from ESPN):

“The board of sv Nieuw-Sloten learned with horror of the death of the linesman of Buitenboys. We are deeply shocked by the fact that the match yesterday degenerated so badly, with this result.

We express here our sympathy, firstly to the family of the deceased person. Words fail us. In addition, we also express our sympathy to the Buitenboys club and all its members.

We distance ourselves strongly from the behaviour of the players who are responsible. As an association, when we were aware of wrongdoing, we apologised to Buitenboys. For our club, this is a huge shock, an event that touches all of our members. Violence should not be on the football fields, and certainly not against referees, linesmen and all those others who volunteer each year to enable over a million amateur footballers to play. We must do everything possible to eliminate these excesses.

Nieuw-Sloten is an association with many youth members. Fair play standards and values are of paramount importance to us and we support the campaign by the KNVB against violence on the field. We will of course fully co-operate with the police investigation. We believe that those who are responsible for this act should be punished.

We decided yesterday to take the team concerned out of the KNVB competition. Also, the persons to our knowledge responsible for this beating were immediately removed and can never become a member of our association.

Obviously, the police are investigating the incident. We will report these persons to the KNVB once their involvement is officially determined to ensure a lifetime expulsion.

For now we have suspended all our activities as a club. The training of all our teams for this week has been cancelled. After consultation with the KNVB, we have decided out of respect for the family of the victim that our teams will play no matches this weekend.”

Their Facebook page remains unedited.

The match took place on Sunday and Mr Nieuwenhuizen died in hospital on Monday after being repetedly kicked and punched by the teenage players. The Dutch Police have not rules out further arrests according to the Guardian.


Statement from the Dutch football Association KNVB (in Dutch)

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