Dutch police have arrested a fourth young footballer suspected of involvement in a brutal beating that left a volunteer linesman dead after a youth match last weekend, prosecutors said Friday.
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Prosecution spokeswoman Brigit Haan said police arrested a 16-year-old boy Thursday night on suspicion of involvement in the attack.
The latest arrest came on the eve of a weekend in which all amateur matches have been canceled nationwide as a mark of respect for 41-year-old Richard Nieuwenhuizen, who was assaulted Sunday after officiating a match his son was playing in between Almere club Buitenboys and Nieuw Sloten of Amsterdam. He died a day later with his family surrounding his hospital bed.
Three other Nieuw Sloten players were arrested Monday and are being held on suspicion of manslaughter, assault and public violence. The fourth suspect is a player in the same team, Haan said.
Nieuwenhuizen’s death sent shockwaves around the Netherlands and beyond, with even FIFA President Sepp Blatter sending his condolences.
The Buitenboys club is organizing a silent march Sunday evening to commemorate Nieuwenhuizen and the Dutch football association on Friday placed full-page posters in national newspapers with the text: ”Without Respect No Football.”
The association said in a statement that it had drawn up the poster after being inundated by telephone calls and emails ”from people who simply wanted to say they think things have to change. That this must never happen again.”
Dutch professional league matches this weekend will be preceded by a minute’s silence and all players and officials will wear black arm bands.