Violence down in amateur football

The number of incidents of excessive verbal and physical violence in amateur football has gone down ten percent this season compared with a year earlier. The KNVB announced on Tuesday that this season there were 370 offenses committed, 44 fewer than the 414 violent acts reported last season.

After  football linesman Richard Nieuwenhuizen was kicked to death by the teenaged members of a football squad, along with the father of one of the teens, pressure mounted against the KNVB to curb violence related to amateur matches. Referees are allowed to give a ten-minute time out when showing a yellow card, and all players must present their club cards for inspection before a match.

This added control over the footballers has led to a decrease in incidents, the KNVB reports. Despite the drop this season, more measures are being introduced to ensure the safety of everyone involved, they say.

Players who want to get field time must take a rules test from next season onwards. The football association hopes that players will develop a better understanding of the rules, the role of referees, and thus a clearer understanding of referee decisions.