Three teenagers to be charged over death of Dutch linesman


Three teenaged soccer players will be charged with manslaughter, assault or public violence after the death of a linesman during a youth competition, a Dutch prosecutor said yesterday.

The players, two of them aged 15 and one of 16, would appear before a court commissioner tomorrow.

Richard Nieuwenhuizen, 41, died on Monday after an incident following an under-17 match in Almere on Sunday. He was officiating for the Buitenboys team, in which his son was playing. 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.

The prosecution office said that investigations were continuing and more arrests might follow.

The Dutch football association (KNVB) announced that all youth and amateur matches for the coming weekend had been cancelled and that professional matches would be preceded by a minute of silence with teams wearing black armbands.

The BBC quoted Dutch sports minister Edith Schippers as saying: “It is absolutely terrible that something like this can happen on a Dutch sports field.” Anton Binnenmars of the Royal Netherlands Football Association said it was “too crazy for words that somebody involved in a sporting hobby becomes a victim of this kind of aggression”.

Nieuw Sloten said they were “deeply shocked” by what had happened and intended to ban for life any players found to be responsible for the official’s death. The club board have withdrawn their team from the league and temporarily suspended all their operations as a club.

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