Final farewell for slain linesman

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iol spt dec10 Linesman-farewell Reuters Dutch football linesman Richard Nieuwenhuizen who died a week ago after he was assaulted at the end of a youth game was cremated on Monday.

The Hague – Dutch football linesman Richard Nieuwenhuizen who died a week ago after he was assaulted at the end of a youth game was cremated on Monday, Dutch media reported.

A hearse carrying Nieuwenhuizen's body arrived at a crematorium in Almere, just west of Amsterdam around 3:00 pm (1400 GMT) where it drove through a guard of honour of some 400 youth players of Nieuwenhuizen's Buitenboys Club, the NOS public broadcaster said.

It showed images of young players dressed in the club's official blue and white colours, throwing red roses and applauding as the hearse with Nieuwenhuizen's body drove past.

The final farewell to Nieuwenhuizen, 41, who died after the December 2 beating, was closed to the general public and media.

Nieuwenhuizen, an amateur linesman, died in hospital of his injuries a day after the attack by youths belonging to Amsterdam's Nieuw Sloten club on December 2.

Police have arrested four youth players so far in connection with the assault that's shocked football-mad Netherlands where some 1.2 million people out of a population of 16.5 million are members of national football federation KNVB.

On Sunday, thousands of people turned out for a silent march in Almere to pay their final tributes to Nieuwenhuizen, whose son played in the match and who witnessed the attack.

The teens, who are being held at an undisclosed youth detention centre face manslaughter, assault and public violence charges.

If convicted, two 15-year-olds would serve a maximum sentence of one year in a youth prison.

The two 16-year-olds could be jailed for a maximum of two years, unless judges rule that they should be tried as adults and face a stiffer penalty.

Last week the KNVB announced that all 33,000 amateur games scheduled over the weekend had been called off. – Sapa-AFP

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