The family of Ajax player Abdelhak Nouri are to ask a Dutch FA arbitration panel to hold the club responsible for the permanent brain injuries the midfielder suffered when he collapsed on the pitch during a friendly match last July.
Family lawyer John Beer told NOS there was ‘only one option’ after the club denied any responsibility for the player’s condition. 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.
Beer said he had decided to take action against the club after watching video footage of the game in Bremen which he claimed showed Ajax had failed to follow medical guidelines. The player’s contract states that the KNVB, rather than the courts, should be the arbiter in such disputes.
‘The doctor was with Nouri after 37 seconds and after 29 seconds there was a defibrilator,’ he said. The images suggest several minutes elapsed before the club doctor attempted to perform a heart massage.
‘The family and Abdelhak are very attached to Ajax, but when you see the club cast aside all responsibility it only leaves one option,’ said Beer.
Ajax have not responded to the latest development in the case. The club has previously said that its medical staff responded ‘very adequately’ to the emergency.
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