Grensrechter hit by cup: FC Groningen-NEC suspended
FC Groningen – NEC suspended: linesman hit by cup
The premier league match between FC Groningen and NEC has been suspended after an assistant referee was hit by a cup of beer thrown from the crowd.
Referee Richard Martens took the players off the field in the eighteenth minute at a 0-0 interval. Shortly after the players left the field, security guards could be seen draining someone from the stands.
The decision to strike is in line with the KNVB’s new guidelines established after the “lighter incident” during the cup match between Feyenoord and Ajax. Then Ajacied Davy Klaassen was hit on the head by a lighter.
The KNVB subsequently decided that from now on a match will be stopped immediately when a player or referee is hit by an object from the audience.
In the case of only throwing objects without hitting anyone, players and referees will go to the dressing rooms the first time and the match will be temporarily stopped. On a second occasion, the game will be stopped immediately.
The remainder of the match between FC Groningen and NEC will be decided later by the KNVB
‘Unimaginable that you do this’
It is the second time in a short time Groningen has been in the news negatively because of a supporter. Last month an underage boy dealt a blow to defender Jetro Willems. A report was filed against that fan by the club and the player.
FC Groningen general manager Wouter Gudde finds it incomprehensible that things have gone wrong again at his club. “It is unimaginable that an individual, with everything that has happened here and at all in soccer in recent months, then does this. Then I think you are not right in the head.”
FC Groningen director Gudde after suspended game: ‘It’s a dramatic season’
Gudde knew immediately that it was wrong. “I saw a replay and then I ran down hard, because you clearly saw that the linesman was hit,” he said.
In the referee’s room, there was consultation between the police, KNVB and representatives of both clubs. There they quickly agreed. “If we don’t set a measure now, where is the limit again? These are the rules.” And so the “very painful” decision was made to strike.
“The final blow is given by the mayor. He issues the permit and he also has to make a risk analysis on how we then get out of the stadium as quickly and safely as possible. That’s why it also took a little longer.”
NEC director: ‘Need to take tougher action’
For Wilco van Schaick, NEC general manager, there was also no doubt that striking was the only right thing to do. “I also sank through the floor when I saw it, but it’s the rule. We will have to go through that pain.”
Van Schaick thinks that by everyone in soccer, throwing objects at players and referees has been accepted for too long.
“If Youp van ‘t Hek makes a wrong joke in the theater, we’re not going to throw anything either. If someone does it there, we find it very strange. I think we’ve been a little too easygoing and now have to take a harder line.”
Watch the reactions of FC Groningen coach Dennis van der Ree and NEC coach Rogier Meijer to the stoppage of the match below:
Groningen coach Van der Ree: ‘Rightful that it was stopped’