Haarlem football club expels linesman for knocking out goalkeeper
The board of Haarlem football club Geel-Wit expelled a linesman who knocked a goalkeeper from another football club unconscious on Saturday, the club announced on its website. "With this, Geel-Wit clearly indicates that we completely disapprove of aggression, in whatever form, on and off the field", the club said in a short statement.
The 34-year-old linesman, who previously also played for Geel-Wit, knocked a goalkeeper for football club UNO unconscious when a conflict between the two teams escalated during a match in Hoofddorp on Saturday. The goalkeeper was left with a concussion, according to the police. The linesman was arrested, but released again after questioning.
The Geel-Wit board also decided to immediately remove the involved team from the competition. "The board of Geel-Wit and UNO will soon meet to discuss this unworthy football incident and to restore the relationship between the players and the clubs", Geel-Wit said.
The police are still investigating the incident. Once they are done, the case will be handed over to the Public Prosecutor, who will decide whether there are grounds for prosecution.
Figures from national football association KNVB show that the number of serious incidents like the one in Hoofddorp on Saturday has been decreasing for a number of seasons, NU.nl reports. In the 2011/2012 season there were 485 such incidents, in the 2016/2017 season that number dropped to 257.