Dutch government tackles violence in sport

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People who commit violence against referees should be punished more severely. Dutch Health Minister Edith Schippers has drawn up an action plan for parliament entitled: 'Towards a safer sports climate' to tackle violence in sport.

She wants courts to take a harder line against anyone who attacks a referee on or off the field, handing down sentences comparable to attacks on members of staff in the emergency services.

The plan of action includes a number of points to improve behaviour towards referees who give up their free time to adjudicate matches. Courses for referees should also include training to deal with agressive behaviour. Clubs will be asked to draw up a clear code of conduct for their members. Under the plan, clubs will be able to report incidents to the police rather than leaving it up to the victim as is currently the case.

Minister Schippers says, "Sports are great fun and we want to keep it that way. This plan of actions makes it 'game, set and match' for sporting behaviour on and off the field."


© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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