Youth-Soccer Referee Dies Shortly After Being Beaten By Players

Associated Press reports don't get much more grim than this one, concerning the death of a youth-soccer referee after he was beaten by a group of kids from the game he was officiating:

A man who was working as a linesman during a youth soccer match in the Netherlands has died after being beaten and kicked by several players.

Richard Nieuwenhuizen collapsed and was rushed to the hospital hours after players from Amsterdam club Nieuw Sloten punched and kicked him. Nieuwenhuizen's club, Buitenboys, announced the death Monday but not the exact cause.

Three players, whose ages range from 15 to 16, were arrested earlier Monday for alleged involvement in the beating.

Dutch sports minister Edith Schippers told national broadcaster NOS even before the news of Nieuwenhuizen's death that ''it is absolutely terrible that something like this can happen on a Dutch sports field.''

Police spokeswoman Leonie Bosselaar said shortly before the linesman's death was announced that the players were still in custody.

Now, details are a bit muddy. Nieuwenhuizen didn't collapse until "hours after" the attack took place, suggesting that he was up and functioning properly after being beaten. We'll update when we know more.

[AP]