Dutch linesman dies after being attacked by teen footballers | inside World Soccer

A Dutch man has died after being assaulted by a group of teenage players in the aftermath of a youth match for whom he acted as linesman.

Dutch linesman Richard Nieuwenhuizen killed by teenagers had been officiating his son's match
Dutch linesman Richard Nieuwenhuizen killed by teenagers had been officiating his son's match

Richard Nieuwenhuizen collapsed and was rushed to the hospital hours after he was punched and kicked repeatedly by players from Amsterdam club Nieuw Sloten in a Sunday league match. He died on Monday.

"You can't believe this could happen," Marcel Oost, club chairman of Nieuwenhuizen's club Buitenboys, told national broadcaster NOS.

"That kids of 15 or 16 are playing football, you come to watch and see something like that.

"This not just a tragedy for Almere and our club, but for Dutch football in general. This can't happen on the football field."

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

Parents and other volunteers regularly referee and officiate at sports matches involving their children in the Netherlands, where sports such as soccer and hockey are incredibly popular and well-organized for young players.

Oost added: "He did it every week. He enjoyed doing it. He was a real football man; he was always here."

According to reports in the Netherlands, three players, aged between 15 and 16, were arrested and taken into police custody.

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

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

Nieuw Sloten have responded to the tragedy by removing the team from the league, banning the players involved in the incident and temporarily suspending all their operations as a club.