July 17 – In a commendable show of support, hundreds of Ajax fans staged an emotional rally at the weekend outside the family home of Abdelhak Nouri, the midfielder who tragically suffered brain damage after collapsing in a friendly match.
Tributes have been pouring in for the 20-year-old who was rushed to hospital after passing out during a friendly against Werder Bremen in Austria a week ago. He was subsequently found to have suffered “serious and permanent brain damage”.
Ajax fans gathered outside his parents’ home in the Geuzenveld district of Amsterdam, applauding, lighting flares and chanting “Appie, Appie” (his nickname).
Nouri suffered cardiac arrhythmias – heart rhythm problems – during the pre-season friendly and Ajax say there is no chance of him recovering from the brain damage caused by lack of oxygen.
“It doesn’t get more bitter than this,” commented Holland’s highly respected De Telegraaf newspaper, adding that the “friendly, soft-spoken but roguish Appie who once put a smile on everybody’s face has now become the centre of dismay and sadness”.
Speaking to the local press, Nouri’s brother Mohammed gave a grim update on his condition. “He cannot walk, cannot talk, he does not recognise us, does not know who we are. He does not feel anything, he does not hear anything.
“The base of the brain is mostly damaged and is not functioning.”
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