Footballer's fake low blood sugar claim upsets real diabetics

Laura Schipper - Diabetes
Laura Schipper, 8, has diabetes, but would never fake a blood sugar attack, like footballer Martin Hansen did to buy time in a match, her father said. (photo: Rogier Schipper / Facebook). (Laura Schipper, 8, has diabetes, but would never fake a blood sugar attack, like footballer Martin Hansen did to buy time in a match, her father said. (photo: Rogier Schipper / Facebook))

Zack Newmark contributed to this report.

The father of an eight-year-old girl suffering from diabetes scathingly criticized ADO Den Haag football coach Henk Fraser for instructing his goalkeeper to pretend like he had low blood sugar and was on the verge of passing out in order to secure a timeout for his team. During the Friday night match between Roda JC Kerkrade and ADO Den Haag, Fraser ordered his goalkeeper Martin Hansen to fake the ailment, with the manager then using the time to collect his team and discuss strategy, Fraser acknowledged during a post game interview.

The incident happened around the 74th minute with the match tied 1 -1, which wound up being the final score that night.

Rogier Schipper's daughter Laura was diagnosed with diabetes some 18 months ago. Now living in Veendam, Groningen, the father said he was outraged by Fraser's admission, and felt he should to do something to raise the awareness on the risks of diabetes.

"With a proud smile on your face, you told how your keeper simulated "low blood sugar" in the match against Roda JC so that you could get a timeout for your team," Schipper said in an open letter to the coach on Facebook. "In doing this, you have therefore won the 2015 Poor Sportsmanship Award."

He accused the coach of a shocking lack of awareness for people who would witness the staged event, like his daughter. "We now tell her that she has to take her sickness seriously, and never, ever pretend to need an injection."

Written a few hours after the match's conclusion, Schipper mentioned in his letter the consequences of a hypoglycemia attack, and reminded readers that diabetes can lead to blindness, kidney disease, loss of limbs, and even death, not to mention the routine pain that comes with daily injections. That personal experience was enough to be startled by the coach's reaction in the interview, Schipper noted.

Penalties could be assessed against the coach, Dutch football association KNVB told DenHaag.FM. Fraser refused several requests for an interview from various media outlets.

Nevertheless, Schipper does not think of Fraser as a bad person, but rather someone who possibly was caught up in the heat of the moment. Schipper said he was hopeful that this portrayal could now be used as a positive teaching lesson about diabetes, and encouraged people, including Fraser, to donate money to help those who really suffer from diabetes.

He used his Facebook message to appeal for funding to the non-profit organization DiabetesFonds, which is active in research for a cure to type one diabetes, better treatment of type two diabetes, and overall providing a better quality of life for diabetics in the Netherlands.

Schipper's post was already shared over 38,000 times in the two days since he published his letter on the social media website.