Ajax’s Abdelhak Nouri suffered brain damage after collapse

Ajax midfielder Abdelhak Nouri has suffered serious and permanent brain damage after collapsing during a friendly, the club have officially announced.

Nouri, 20, required emergency treatment from paramedics on the field and then was airlifted to hospital after collapsing with around 20 minutes remaining against Werder Bremen in Zillertal, Austria, on Saturday.

On Monday, the club had said tests showed his “heart is functioning normally” and brain scans did not detect “any anomalies” — but new tests revealed the extent of the damage.

“Ajax are deeply saddened by the news that Appie Nouri has been diagnosed with serious and permanent brain damage,” the club wrote on Twitter. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to him and his loved ones in this difficult time.”

Nouri will be transferred to a hospital in Amsterdam for further care.

The club statement added that the chances of recovery from the damage is nil, and that “the diagnosis was made that a lot of [his] brain is not functioning. All this probably occurred due to a lack of oxygen supply.”

Nouri had made 15 appearances for Ajax’s first team last season, including three in the Europa League, and scored on his senior debut in a 5-0 win against Willem II in the KNVB-Beker.

Ajax CEO Edwin van der Sar told the club’s website: “This is the worst possible news. It’s terrible. We feel enormously for his parents, siblings and other relatives.”

“The blow is also hard for Ajax, although we knew we might have to consider this scenario. These have been uncertain days, and lots of people in different way have sympathised with his situation. That is greatly appreciated.”

“Abdelhak has such great talent, but unfortunately we will never know how far his star would have reached if this had not happened to him.”

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