Blatter laments Nieuwenhuizen tragedy
© AFP

FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter has written to Royal Dutch Football Association (KNVB) President Mr Michael van Praag to express his deepest sympathy over the tragic death of assistant referee Richard Nieuwenhuizen.

The 41-year-old Dutchman was attacked while officiating a youth match between Buitenboys and Nieuw-Sloten on Sunday, and was later declared dead.

“I would like to express my sadness and distress on hearing of the death of assistant referee Richard Nieuwenhuizen,” wrote the FIFA President. “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, and we must continue use its positive example to educate people against these wrongs.”