Linesman's beating death leads to lifetime football ban

Soccer - Dutch Linesman Dies after Attack during Game - Almere
Richard NieuwenhuizenRichard Nieuwenhuizen

Four of five football players deemed responsible for the beating death of linesman Richard Nieuwenhuizen were banned from the sport for life by the disciplinary committee of the Dutch football association KNVB. Nieuwenhuizen was attacked on December 2, 2012, following a youth football match in Almere.

A fifth person involved received a 60 month suspension for demonstrating remorse for his actions and accepting responsibility for what he had done.

The incident involving the 41-year-old volunteer linesman occurred Nieuw Sloten lost 3 – 1 to Buitenboys. The five men rushed, beat and kicked the linesman who they accused of showing bias throughout the match. He refused medical treatment at the scene, but died of related injuries the following day.

Six players, all teenagers at the time, were found guilty of manslaughter, along with the parent of an accused footballer. El-Hasan D., now 52, was sentenced to six years in prison. The teens were sent to youth detention facilities for 12 to 24 months. Those found guilty lost their appeal in the case.

The KNVB was unable to conclusively determine suspension times until after the appellate process was completed, the association stated.

This incidence of excessive violence has severely shaken the footballing society, said Jan Dirk van der Zee, director of KNVB amateur play. “This tragic incident is forever part of Dutch football history,” he lamented. He hopes that everyone continues to make sure these violent incidents do not happen in the future.

To that end, the KNVB claimed that violence at football matches decreased by 34 percent to 322 incidents last season.