Ajax footballer Nouri suffers ‘serious and irreversible’ brain damage

Abdelhak Nouri in play on Saturday                 Photo: VI Images, via Hollandse Hoogte

Footballer Abdelhak Nouri has sustained serious, irreversible brain damage after collapsing with heart problems during an Ajax friendly match in Austria on Saturday.

The club announced on Thursday that a hospital in Innsbruck has been investigating the footballer’s brain functions.

‘The diagnosis that has been made is that a large part of his brain is no longer functioning, and that the chance of recovering these crucial brain functions is nil,’ said the club.

‘This is probably due to insufficient oxygen supply to his brain after the midfielder became unwell during the Ajax-Werder Bremen match in Hippach.’

The 20-year-old is allowed to be moved and is expected to be taken to a hospital in Amsterdam for further care. He had been flown to the Austrian hospital on Saturday, and the match abandoned, after he collapsed with heart rhythm problems.

Ajax said it was communicating partly on behalf of the footballer’s family, who wanted people to keep hoping and praying for him.

Chief executive Edwin van der Sar said: ‘This is the worst possible message. We truly feel for his parents, brothers, sisters and people around him…Abdelhak is such a great talent, but unfortunately we will never know how far his star would have reached if this had not happened.’