Youth league linesman dies after being punched and kicked by teenage players
A LINESMAN has died after being punched and kicked by a group of teenage players during a youths match.
Richard Nieuwenhuizen, 41, was rushed to hospital in the Dutch town of Almere after collapsing after the attack by players from opponents Nieuw-Sloten on Sunday.
His club Buitenboys said: "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".
According to reports in Holland, three Nieuw-Sloten players were arrested and taken into police custody.
The Amsterdam 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 on Sunday 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."