Thousands march to commemorate death of Dutch linesman

December 9, 2012 22:10


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AMSTERDAM - Thousands of Dutch mourners walked in silence with candles and flowers on Sunday to commemorate the fatal beating of a volunteer football linesman, whose death last week shocked the Netherlands.

Richard Nieuwenhuizen, 41, was attacked by a group of football players while refereeing an under-17 match. He died shortly after being kicked repeatedly by the youth players, who were 15 and 16 years old.

His death, which led to the arrest of four players, at least two of them of Moroccan origin, has sparked an national debate about violence on the football pitch.

The death was seized upon by the anti-Muslim party of populist Geert Wilders who blamed the death on what he called "not a football problem, but a Moroccan problem."

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