Players face charges after linesman dies
A Dutch prosecutor will announce today what charges will be brought against three teenaged players after the death of a linesman during a youth soccer competition.
Richard Nieuwenhuizen (41) died yesterday after an incident following an under-17 match on Sunday.
Police arrested three members of the Nieuw-Sloten Amsterdam youth team after the incident, in which the linesman fell to the ground.
Nieuwenhuizen collapsed hours after the match and was taken to hospital where he fell into a coma. He died the following day.
His club announced yesterday 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”.
The Nieuw-Sloten club have responded by banning the players involved in the incident, withdrawing from the league in which the game took place and temporarily suspending all their operations as a club.
A statement on the club’s website read: “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."
FIFA president Sepp Blatter today expressed his shock at the news.
"Football is a mirror of society and sadly, the same ills that afflict society - in this case violence — also manifest themselves in our game," he said.
“Nevertheless, I remain convinced that football - through the example set by the tireless efforts of people like Mr Nieuwenhuizen - is a force for good, and we must continue use its positive example to educate people against these wrongs.”