Linesman killing verdict due

Updated: 2013-06-18 07:25

By Agence France-Presse in Lelystad, Netherlands (China Daily)

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A Dutch court is on Monday to hand down a verdict against a group of teenaged boys and a father accused of kicking to death a linesman, a case that sent shockwaves through the soccer-mad Netherlands.

Amateur league linesman Richard Nieuwenhuizen, 41, was allegedly kicked several times in the head by enraged youth players shortly after a December match, in which one of his sons was playing.

He died shortly afterwards in hospital, leading to much soul-searching in the Netherlands where over a million people play amateur football every weekend.

The seven youth suspects, aged 15 to 17 at the time, and the 51-year-old adult, were charged with manslaughter, public violence and brutality.

The court heard testimony in May and June including allegations that Nieuwenhuizen insulted them after the match and that members of the opposing team told them to "come and fight".

Individual defendants denied using any violence, although one boy admitted a kick to the linesman's shoulder.

The adult suspect said he had only tried to keep players apart, as the court was shown photographs of the brawl taken by spectators.

(China Daily 06/18/2013 page22)