Dutch linesman dies after assault by teenage players

A father helping to referee his son’s football match dies after being attacked by opposition players

LAST UPDATED AT 10:41 ON Tue 4 Dec 2012

A DUTCH father acting as a linesman at his son’s weekend football match has died in hospital after he was allegedly punched and kicked by three youths from the opposing team.

Richard Nieuwenhuizen, 41, was declared dead on Monday night after he was apparently assaulted by three teenaged players from the Nieuw-Sloten club at the end of the Sunday afternoon match against his son’s club Buitenboys, reports The Daily Telegraph.

Buitenboys announced his death on Twitter, saying: "With great sadness we announce the death of our linesman Richard Nieuwenhuizen. Our thoughts are with his family."

Three boys aged 15 to 16 were arrested on Monday for alleged involvement in the beating, which took place in the town of Almere in central Holland.
The Dutch sports minister, Edith Schippers, is quoted in The Guardian 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 he was shocked by such violence at a youth league match. "It is too crazy for words that somebody involved in a sporting hobby becomes a victim of this kind of aggression," he said.

A spokeswoman for the Dutch police said the three teenaged players were still in custody and investigations were continuing. More arrests have not been ruled out, The Guardian says.

Nieuw Sloten said in a statement on its website that it has banned the players involved and pulled its team out of the league.

Nieuwenhuizen’s death comes a year after a Dutch amateur footballer delivered a lethal kick to a 77-year-old supporter following a match, the Daily Mail reports.

The player, identified only as Silvester M due to Dutch privacy laws, was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment last week for kicking the elderly supporter so hard in the chest that he ruptured his spleen and died a month later. · 

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