Euro 2008

Boulahrouz despair for Dutch

Defender suffers family bereavement

Boulahrouz: Family tragedy

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Khalid Boulahrouz will remain with Holland's Euro 2008 squad despite the death of his prematurely-born daughter.

The defender, who started all three of Holland's group games, left training on Wednesday after his wife was hospitalised with pregnancy complications.

And the Dutch Football Federation has now said in a statement that Boulahrouz's daughter, Anissa, has died.

The statement said: "Players and staff of the Dutch team are upset by the death of Anissa, the daughter of Khalid Boulahrouz and his wife Sabia, who was born prematurely."

Holland, who are due to face Russia in the quarter-finals on Saturday, cancelled all activities which had been scheduled for Thursday afternoon.


Coach Marco van Basten said: "I understand it is very difficult for Khalid and we will all try to support him however we can."

Van Basten added that the defender would be given the freedom to leave the team's hotel whenever he wanted.

"He can always go to be with his wife," said the coach. "These are important matters, we all realise that only too well.

"He thanked everyone for their support. I think he acted very maturely."