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Blatter reacts to Dutch linesman's tragic death

Blatter reacts to Dutch linesman's tragic death

Shaun Botterill - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images

The FIFA president was deeply saddened by the passing of official Richard Nieuwenhuizen as a result of a brutal assault by youth players during a match in the Netherlands.

Sepp Blatter has expressed his distress over the death of linesman Richard Nieuwenhuizen, who was mortally wounded by players during a game between Dutch youth clubs.

Nieuwenhuizen, 41, passed away on Monday after he was the victim of a vicious attack by three underage Nieuw Sloten footballers. The linesman's son was playing in the same game for opposing team Buitenboys, and Blatter was appalled by the tragic incident.

"I would like to express my sadness and distress on hearing of the death of assistant referee Richard Nieuwenhuizen," Blatter wrote in a letter to the Dutch football association. "I was deeply shocked to learn of this tragic incident. Football is a mirror of society, and sadly the same ills that afflict society - in this case violence - also manifest themselves in our game.

"Nevertheless, I remain convinced that football, through the example set by the tireless efforts of people like Mr. Nieuwenhuizen, is a force for good. We must continue to use its positive example to educate people against these wrongs."

The three culprits, two aged 15 and one 16, will stand trial after they are charged with 'manslaughter, assault or public violence.'

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