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Attacks on referees could carry double the standard sentence

Tuesday 11 December 2012

Justice minister Ivo Opstelten wants to research the possibility of introducing harsher punishments for people convicted of attacking referees, RTL news reports.

Opstelten says violence against referees could be treated the same as attacks on emergency service workers and tram drivers, RTL said. This would mean people convicted of attacking a referee would be given double the standard sentence.

‘People have to accept authority, that is what it is all about,’ Opstelten said. ‘People in positions of authority should be able to do their jobs, whether on the street or in a football stadium.’

Opstelten was reacting to the death of amateur football linesman Richard Nieuwenhuizen after he was attacked by a group of teenagers after a match.

The minister must first discuss the idea with the public prosecution department to see if it can be implemented. Earlier, sports minister Edith Schippers said football clubs should always report attacks on referees and linesmen to the police.

A good move? Have your say using the comment form below.

© DutchNews.nl


Readers' Comments

Attacks on referees could carry double the standard sentence. This is nonsense before the law. An attack on anybody should carry the same sentence, circumstances and motive being determinate sentencing factors.

By Terence Hale | 11 December 2012 9:25 PM

Absolutely, but there should be more fundamental changes to the place of referees in all levels of football. The referee should be untouchable. Disagreement is ok but verbal abuse should result in a penalty. Putting your hands on a referee should be an automatic multi-game suspension. Assaulting an official should be treated as assault with the played banned and the culture of the entire club investigated.

The way officials are abused and bullied at the top level filters down and is amplified at the lower levels.

There is no game without the officials and you won't attract them unless they feel safe and respected

By Craig | 12 December 2012 10:29 AM

The death of this linesman is a new low in youth (mis)behaviour, and strict penalties **may** be a solution. But how about all the teachers, police officers and staff of emergency services that are under constant attack? And how about holding the parents (partially) accountable? There are more sides to this issue than meet the eye.

By Nico van de Water | 12 December 2012 9:24 PM

What makes a referee so much more important than anyone else who gets attacked. Double the sentence for all, if you must.

By BS | 13 December 2012 6:58 AM

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