Football

Ajax to pay €7.85 million to family of former player Abdelhak Nouri

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Ajax Amsterdam will pay €7.85 million ($8.9 million) to the family of their former player Abdelhak Nouri, who suffered brain damage following a heart attack on the pitch in 2017, the Dutch champions said on Monday.

Nouri, who is now 24, made his senior debut in 2016-17, but his playing career was ended prematurely after he suffered a cardiac arrest in a preseason match against Werder Bremen in Austria.

Despite being revived on the pitch and rushed to a hospital, Nouri suffered serious and permanent brain damage. Ajax admitted later that medical care in the acute phase on the field was not adequate and acknowledged liability for the consequences.

Ajax said they had reached an agreement with Nouri’s family and that proceedings before an Arbitration Committee had been terminated as a result of the amicable settlement.

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« We all realize that the suffering for Abdelhak and his loved ones is not over. It remains a very sad situation, that’s how we feel here at Ajax too, » Ajax general manager Edwin van der Sar said in a statement.

« We greatly appreciate the way the family takes care of Abdelhak day and night with a lot of love and attention. When I visit him, I am always welcomed with open arms by the family.

« That also applies to other Ajax colleagues and we appreciate that enormously. »

Ajax, who continued to pay Nouri after the incident, formally canceled his contract in March 2020.

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