The ugly side of the beautiful game

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The ugly side of the beautiful game

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Dutch football has been left in a state in shock this week after Richard Nieuwenhuizen died on Monday following injuries sustained in an attack while officiating an under-17 match on Sunday in Almere.

The 41-year-old was the linesman for a game between his son’s club Buitenboys and Nieuw Sloten but afterwards was viciously attacked by three players of the visiting team.

He collapsed hours after the incident and was taken to hospital where he fell into a coma. He died the following day.

The reaction to Nieuwenhuizen’s death has been swift as prosecutors in the Netherlands say the teenage players will be charged with manslaughter, assault or public violence.

The same day Nieuwenhuizen died, Tottenham fan Ashley Mills was released from hospital in Rome after receiving treatment for a head injury and a knife wound to his groin.

The 25-year-old was a victim of a brutal raid by hardcore Lazio and Roma fans on the eve of Spurs’ Europa league match on 22 November.

“I am feeling a lot better now,’‘ said Mills. ‘’(I want to say) thank you to everyone who has looked after me here at the hospital. Everyone here has been brilliant. They have helped me a lot. Obviously there is a language barrier but they have done all they can to make it easier for me. So I am very grateful.”

Although both stories have dramatically different outcomes they once again highlight the sad fact that ‘the beautiful’ game can and often does turn very ugly.