Saturday’s Dutch league match between relegation-threatened Groningen and NEC Nijmegen was abandoned after a beaker of beer thrown from the crowd 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 Amsterdam.
A cigarette lighter thrown from the crowd hit Ajax midfielder Davy Klaassen and cut his head, causing a lengthy delay to the match, and drawing the widespread condemnation of behaviour at Dutch football games from government ministers and other sectors of civil society.
The Dutch football association then decided that matches should be stopped immediately if a player or match official is hit by an object from the crowd.
It also decided that 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 is immediately stopped.
That happened last week in a second-division clash between NAC Breda and Willem II Tilburg that will now be concluded behind closed doors on Tuesday.
“It is inconceivable that an individual, with everything that has happened in the last month here in football, would do this. I think you are out of your mind,” Groningen’s general manager Wouter Gudde told reporters.
The Groningen-NEC match is also expected to be completed at a later date, again behind closed doors.
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