Three teenage soccer players are facing manslaughter charges for allegedly beating a Dutch linesman to death, the Netherlands’ public prosecutor said on Tuesday, with all this weekend’s youth matches canceled.
All Dutch professional matches are also to hold a minute’s silence and players will wear mourning bands, with the Netherlands in shock after Richard Nieuwenhuizen, 41, died on Monday, the Dutch soccer federation KNVB said.
Police have not excluded further arrests after three players with Amsterdam club Nieuwe Sloten were arrested. Nieuwenhuizen was taken to hospital hours after the beating that followed the final whistle in Sunday’s match against neighboring Almere’s Buitenboys.
“Two 15-year-olds and a 16-year-old from Amsterdam under suspicion of seriously assaulting a 41-year-old linesman of the Buitenboys from Almere will on Thursday appear before a judge at the Almere court,” the prosecutor’s office said.
“The suspects will appear on charges of manslaughter, assault and public violence,” a statement read.
The judge will decide whether to keep the three youths in detention in Amsterdam.
A silent march is to be held in Almere on Sunday afternoon in memory of Nieuwenhuizen, whose own son was playing in the match, according to Dutch media reports.
Bernard Fransen, president of KNVB amateur soccer, told a press conference that he was “very shocked.”
“Amateur soccer matches will be canceled this weekend and a minute’s silence will be observed during professional soccer matches,” he said.