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Dutch FA takes measures against violence against referees

The Dutch FA has released a plan to decrease violence against referees in Dutch football and get more respect for referees.

Arag and KNVB will give all Dutch referees a new official shirt.
Arag and KNVB will give all Dutch referees a new official shirt.
Check out the full plan in Dutch (pdf). The death of linesman Richard Nieuwenhuizen was the main reason for this new plan, launched by the Dutch FA Wednesday 20th of March. “After that tragic incident in December 2012 one thing was absolutely clear: more needs to be done [against violence]”, says the FA in a statement which was delivered in the mailboxes of all Dutch referees.

Sponsor ARAG also announced that all Dutch referees will get an official Nike referee shirt.

10 things that are going to change in Dutch football to stop violence against referees

According to the FA’s plans.

  • An emergency number which is available 24/7 to call when there’s serious violence on the football pitch
  • Online web form on the Dutch FA’s respect page which can be filled in so people could share their negative experiences with clubs, players and referees.
  • Time penalty (sin bin) of ten minutes along with the first yellow card. This will be applied in category B of Dutch amateur football (the lowest leagues). At this moment people at that level could get a yellow card OR a 5 minute ban.
  • Publish rules of conduct at football clubs (on and off the pitch).
  • Youth players are required to pass for a LATG test
  • Youth players with a ban for 9 months and adults with a 18 months suspension are required to follow a ‘good behaviour course’.
  • Clubs who misbehave will be confronted with more observers during the club’s matches.
  • Extra help and guidance from the KNVB for clubs with recurrence of violence.
  • Improve the use of player passes and prevent the system from fraud. Both captains need to be there when checking the passes.
  • All disciplinary sanctions will be published online.


  • Arjan

    The phonenumber (after reading the explanation) sounds like a good idea since it brings everything together, although I don’t really see why it needs to be available 24/7 since it offers help within 48 hours. I’d say that in case of violence the first thing would still be to call 112. After that, you can call the other number to settle everything.

    • dutchreferee

      @Arjan My region had such a number for weekends. The FA stopped with it and all refs could call on Monday. Works perfect too. For serious business you need to call the emergency number, like you said.

  • ASkeete_Referee

    These are fantastic codes and penalties to be added. In Violence against officials is currently a moot point within our FA in Barbados. These are great suggestions. I like the sin bin.; it will install discipline in the teams at lower levels, and improve respect.
    But what is FIFAs take on this? Have you had any feedback from them.

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