AN ASSISTANT referee at a youth football match in the Netherlands has died after being attacked and beaten by several players.
Richard Nieuwenhuizen, who was acting as linesman, collapsed and was rushed to hospital on Sunday, hours after players from Amsterdam club Nieuw Sloten punched and kicked him following their match.
Mr Nieuwenhuizen’s club, Buitenboys, announced the death yesterday.
Three players, whose ages range from 15 to 16, have been arrested for alleged involvement in the beating.
Mr Nieuwenhuizen’s son is understood to have been playing in the match.
Dutch sports minister Edith Schippers told national broadcaster NOS that “it is absolutely terrible that something like this can happen on a Dutch sports field”.
Police spokeswoman Leonie Bosselaar said shortly before the linesman’s death was announced that the players were still in custody and investigations were continuing.
She added that police would not rule out arresting more suspects.
Nieuw Sloten said in a statement on its website it had banned the players allegedly involved and pulled their team out of the league.
The statement said such incidents “do not belong on a football field”.