Dutch Teens Charged in Volunteer Soccer Official’s Death
Assistant referee Richard Nieuwenhuizen was beaten up by three teen players
December 04, 2012(CNN) -- The Netherlands is reeling from the death of a volunteer soccer official at an amateur football match over the weekend which has led to three Dutch teenagers being charged with murder.
Two 15-year-olds and a 16-year-old -- all Amsterdam club Nieuw Sloten players -- were arrested and charged by Dutch police after the death of a 41-year-old linesman Richard Nieuwenhuizen, who was beaten by players following a match against his club Buitenboys in the city of Almere.
On its website Nieuw Sloten said it was "deeply shocked" by Nieuwenhuizen's death, adding that it would ban for life the players found to be responsible, as well pulling its team from the league and temporarily suspending all operations as a club.
"Violence should not be on the football fields," said a statement on the Nieuw Sloten website.
"And certainly not against referees, linesmen and all those others who volunteer each year to help over a million amateur footballers. We must do everything possible to eliminate these excesses.
Nieuwenhuizen was pronounced dead at 5.30 p.m. local time on Monday in the hospital of Nieuwegein, according to his club Buitenboys.
"Buitenboys wish the family much strength with this loss," said the Buitenboys website.
"The Dutch Football Association is deeply shocked. After intervention of the police and the arrival of an ambulance, he was in critical condition and transported to a hospital. There he died Monday afternoon," reported the website of the Royal Dutch Football Association (KNVB).
The KNVB's director of amateur football, Anton Binnenmars, added: "Let me, on behalf of the entire KNVB and all its members, offer my sympathy to the families and friends of the victim. It is outrageous that someone enjoying a hobby can be victim of such aggression."
Despite a population of 17.5 million, Holland has built an outstanding reputation for developing young footballers over the years, with its amateur youth clubs providing a strong breeding ground for the country's professional clubs.
All amateur football has been cancelled this weekend in Holland.
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