Dutch youth league football linesman dies after attack

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Football club Buitenboys in Almere, the Netherlands, on 3/12/12Image source, AFP
Image caption,
Richard Nieuwenhuizen officiated as linesman each week at Buitenboys, the club said

A Dutch man has died after being kicked and punched by a group of teenage football players for whom he acted as linesman in a Sunday league match.

Richard Nieuwenhuizen collapsed and was taken to hospital hours after he was beaten by three players from Amsterdam club Nieuw Sloten. He died on Monday.

He had been officiating for Buitenboys club, in the town of Almere, and one of his own sons had been playing.

Three teenagers, aged between 15 and 16, have reportedly been arrested.

Buitenboys club chairman Marcel Oost said Mr Nieuwenhuizen, 41, officiated as linesman for the team every week. "He enjoyed doing it. He was a real football man; he was always here," he told national broadcaster NOS.

News of his death sparked shock in sporting circles around the Netherlands.

The Dutch minister for sports, Edith Schippers, said: "It is absolutely terrible that something like this can happen on a Dutch sports field".

Anton Binnenmars ,of the Royal Netherlands Football Association, described it as "too crazy for words that somebody involved in a sporting hobby becomes a victim of this kind of aggression".

Nieuw Sloten said it was "deeply shocked" by what had happened, and intended to ban for life the players found to be responsible, had pulled their team from the league and temporarily suspended all its operations as a club.

"Violence should not be on the football fields," it said.