Football referee, attacked with box cutter, recovering well
Update 12:20 p.m. - Added a comment from Den Hoorn club president
A referee that was attacked with a box cutter during a kids' football match in Den Hoorn on Saturday, is doing well. The man who attacked him was remanded into custody for two weeks, the Prosecutor announced on Monday. He is facing charges of attempted manslaughter.
The attack happened during a match between E5 Den Hoorn and E4 Haaglandia on Saturday. The teams consist of 9 and 10 year old footballers. The perpetrator, a 39 year old man from The Hague, walked up on to the field and tried to stab the referee. This was after he made several remarks in the ref's direction.
The referee managed to avoid the knife, but did get a blow to the head. The attacker was overpowered by other spectators. One person was slightly wounded.
It is not clear whether the attacker is related to one of the players.
The referee is recovering from the attack, he said in a statement on the Den Hoorn club's website. "I hope we can discuss it with the involved children in the coming days and quickly again enjoy what matters: the game of football and a club that unites us", the referee said.
Richard van der Helm, president of the club, also commented on the website. He thanked the referee for his calm reaction, which "prevented worse from happening", and the parents for intervening.
"About the incident itself, I'm not going to elaborate here." Van der Helm said. "The question asked many times the last few days is whether this is again football violence. We believe that it is quite simple: No. This is an individual action that could happen anywhere. "
Football violence was mentioned in the media several times last week with commentator Johan Derksen stating that Moroccan players are responsible for clubs "going to shit". Minister Edith Schippers of Sports commented that he may be touching on a "real problem". “We have to address everyone, all incidents. But you can not deny that these incidents happen far more at a number of clubs than at other clubs”, she said Minister Lodewijk Asscher of Social Affairs called it racist to try and exclude Moroccan players.