Far greater attention needs to be paid to tackling violence in professional football, and players, coaches and football commentators should change their behaviour, according to Labour and VVD MPs in the Telegraaf.
They want the football association KNVB to take a much harder line on aggression at a professional level and will make a joint appeal in parliament on Monday, the paper says.
‘Professional footballers should set an example,’ VVD MP Matthijs Huijzing is quoted as saying.
‘As a five-year-old player you are surrounded by bad examples – parents, players and coaches,’ he said. ‘On television shows you see players arguing with referees and commentators criticising them. It is hardly surprising you come to regard it as normal behaviour.’
The MP’s comments come two weeks after amateur football linesman Richard Nieuwenhuizen died after being attacked by a group of young players. Eight people, including one adult, have been arrested.