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Dutch linesman dies after youth assault

A Dutch linesman who was attacked after a Sunday youth league game has died as a result of his injuries.

Richard Nieuwenhuizen was officiating in a youth match between Buitenboys – who one of his sons plays for – and Nieuw Sloten when he was repeatedly punched and kicked by three players from the opposition.

The 41-year-old was rushed to hospital but on Monday the club confirmed he had passed away.

The club wrote 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.”

Buitenboys chairman Marcel Oost said he participated as an official for the club on a regular basis.

“He enjoyed doing it. He was a real football man; he was always here,” Oost told NOS.

Nieuwenhuizen’s death has shocked the footballing world and a number of comments about the event have been released, including one from the Dutch Minister of Health, Welfare and Sport, Edith Schippers.

She said: “It is absolutely terrible that something like this can happen on a Dutch sports field.”

Three males aged between 15 and 16 have reportedly been arrested for the alleged attack.

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.”

Tue 4 Dec, 2012
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