December 22, 2011

Violent offences against third parties

Bas Nijhuis was in charge of the Eredivisie match between Ajax Amsterdam and AZ Alkmaar yesterday. In the 36th minute, a "fan" stormed the pitch and was violently detained by the Alkmaar goalkeeper, the consequence of this mindless action must be the red card, Nijhuis issued it correctly and it appears important to me to point that again out. What happened then may be seen as scandale. 

After a quick conversation between players and their coach, AZ Alkmaar decided to boycott unified the further game. An understandbale reaction, but according to the rule, Bas was right, even though one has to emphasize that AZ's decision to boykott the game was potentially not due to the decision but more likely due to the overall circumstances which are shown by these screenshots and pictures:

Verbeek explains AZ Alkmaar's boycott

Nijhuis in the post-match press conference

Nijhuis explained his decision with rule 12 which says the following:

"A player who commits a cautionable or sending-off offence, either on or off
the field of play, whether directed towards an opponent, a team-mate, the
referee, an assistant referee or any other person, is disciplined according to the nature of the offence committed."

This means that it does not matter whether it is a player's opponent or a third party, it therefore has to be red. Nijhuis also stated in the press conference that the goalkeeper's reaction had trespassed self-defence as he had kicked the supporter two times after latter had already lain on the ground.

What remains is the fact that it was a right decision by Nijhuis and an understandable reaction shown by AZ.

The Dutch federation has undone the issued red card as the federation thinks that a red card was in this specific situation not imperiously necessary.

Something similar happened in Greece a few years ago.


  1. Not only against opponents or third parties, you get a red card also if you commit violent offences against teammates.
    Maybe it sounds strange, but it really could happen.
    However here the keeper reaction was really exaggerated.

  2. He was attacked from his back, of course, it may not happen but I do not want to know how I would have reacted at the goalie's place..
    The rule sometimes forgets the common sense, but I am quite surprised that KNVB deleted the red card..

  3. I must say, that I'm also very surprised with that decision of Netherland's FA, because red card Nijhuis showed to goalkeeper was 100% correct.

  4. Nijhuis was absolutely spot on, and should have been backed to the hilt by the Dutch FA. Disgraceful!!

  5. Yes, they do not only subvert a decision based on facts but they also send a totally wrong signal.

  6. I also agreed on RC given whenever I have seen it on TV.

    What will be the result of the game then? A fan attacked the goalkeeper...and they had withdraw their team?

  7. Yes, they did.
    I do not know whether you are able to watch the video:

    No idea how they will evaluate the match.

  8. similar example:
    and the remaining time of the match was played again.

    it looks like the decisive comittees of football association decided to disrespect the laws of the game and also referees. I'm disgusted

  9. I agree.
    Fortunately, the KNVB declared that Nijhuis acted correctly, but that such a reaction is - from their point of view - not necessarily a red card. They contradict themselves..
    The Dutch minister for justice has explained that he welcomes the behaviour of the AZ coach Verbeek, but KNVB has now a my mind, for every violent offence, the host team has to be the responsible party.

  10. The match will be replayed with a different referee and without attendance.

    The Dutch federation has mishandled the case, in my opinion.

  11. a good decision!
    Moreover, the idiot who stormed the pitch has received a punishment: jail.

  12. Sorry for the very late comment, but I think it is necessary to point out that the Dutch FA stated that the red card issued was correct, but that the FA did not believe it would be fair to suspend Esteban Alvarado (the AZ goalkeeper who received the red card) for one or more matches.
    Just to emphasise; the Dutch FA supported Nijhuis' decision, it just chose not to issue a suspension which normally would be the case.
    For me the best solution would have been to play the match from the 37th minute with Mr. Alvarado off the pitch. Also, a 5-match conditional suspension for Mr. Alvarado. If he would reoffend, this suspension would come into action.


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