A German football match between Zwickau and Rot-Weiss Essen was suspended after the referee was attacked by an angry fan who threw beer on him during halftime. The incident took place after Zwickau’s Nils Butzen was sent off for bringing down Rot-Weiss Essen’s Isaiah Young, and a penalty was awarded. Simon Engelmann scored from the penalty spot to equalize the match before the break, and the home fans made their frustrations known.
Similar Incidents in Dutch Football
Similar incidents have occurred in Dutch football, with a match between Groningen and NEC Nijmegen recently suspended after a beaker of beer was thrown from the crowd and struck the assistant referee. Referee Richard Martens took the players off the field in the 18th minute in line with new Dutch football guidelines, brought in earlier this month after crowd violence in the Dutch Cup semifinal between Feyenoord and Ajax. A cigarette lighter thrown from the crowd hit Ajax midfielder Davy Klaassen and cut his head, causing a lengthy delay to the match.
New Dutch Football Guidelines
In response to these events, the Dutch football association has introduced new guidelines. Matches will be stopped immediately if a player or match official is hit by an object from the crowd, and if an object is thrown from the terraces but misses, play will be temporarily stopped with the players sent to the dressing rooms. If it happens a second time, the match will be immediately stopped. A second-division clash between NAC Breda and Willem II Tilburg was stopped last week and will now be concluded behind closed doors on Tuesday.
These incidents have drawn widespread condemnation from government ministers and other sectors of civil society. Groningen’s general manager Wouter Gudde called the attacks “inconceivable” and urged fans to behave responsibly. The matches suspended due to these incidents are expected to be completed at a later date, again behind closed doors. It is essential that fans understand the importance of respecting the game and those who participate in it.
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