Amsterdam football club Ajax now says it accepts full responsibility for the injuries suffered by young player Abdelhak Nouri who suffered permanent brain injuries when he collapsed on the pitch during a friendly match last July.
The 21-year-old, known as ‘Appie’, has needed round-the-clock care since the incident during a game against Werder Bremen.
In January it emerged that Nouri had been found to have a heart defect during a routine screening by the Dutch football association (KNVB) in 2014. The club were aware of the condition but decided it did not pose a risk to his health. His family were not informed.
On Monday evening, Ajax general manager Edwin van der Sar, told a press conference Nouri had not had ‘adequate’ help when he collapsed.
Two specialists have now told Ajax that he was not given proper help and not enough was done to measure his heart rate, circulation and to reanimate him.
Van der Sar, who was visibly emotional during the press conference, said that the brain damage may not have been so severe if treatment had been better. He said the club accepts full responsibility and will now start talks with the family.
The family said earlier this month they would ask a Dutch FA arbitration panel to hold the club responsible for the permanent brain injuries the midfielder suffered.
Family spokesman Khalid Kasem told local broadcaster AT5 the family have mixed feelings about Ajax’ new position. ‘On the one hand, they are pleased with the recognition, on the other, it has taken a very long time for Ajax to admit liability,’ he said.
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