It has been five years since Ajax’s Abdelhak Nouri collapsed during a preseason friendly against Werder Bremen.
Abdelhak Nouri made his debut for Ajax in 2016 and had played just 15 games for the first team when, at the age of 20, he collapsed on the pitch and suffered severe and permanent brain damage.
Ajax had been paying for Nouri’s medical charges since 2017 after the family began a case at the Dutch Football Association’s Arbitration Commission.
On Monday, the club accepted responsibility and announced that it would pay Nouri’s family a sum of 7.85 million euros as damages due to the inadequate medical attention during the incident.
“It is good that an agreement has been reached so that we can conclude this,” Ajax director Edwin van der Sar said. “We all realize that it does not end the suffering of Abdelhak and his loved ones. It remains a very sad situation. That is how we feel here at Ajax, too.”
Since the incident, several tributes have been conducted by the players and the club.
Several of Nouri’s teammates, including van de Beek, Kluivert, and El Ghazi, adopted his No.34 shirt at their clubs. In 2018, Ajax had renamed the trophy given to the talented player from the academy to his name. The club also follows this tradition of posting the Matchday tweet before every game at 07:34.
Honouring the midfield’s legacy, the club has now decided to retire Nouri’s No.34 jersey.
“In the Ajax first team, the number 34 will never be worn again, unless the Nouri family and Ajax want to make an exception together”, the Ajax CEO announced. “We all realize that it does not end the suffering of Abdelhak and his loved ones. It remains a very sad situation, that is how we feel here at Ajax, too.”
2/2: Edwin Van Sar statement:— weTalk Ajax (@wetalkajax) February 21, 2022
“The bond between Ajax and the Nouri family will always remain. Not only because of the Abdelhak Nouri Trophy. We will give the number 34 to the Nouri family. Number ‘34’ will never be used again, unless the Nouri family & Ajax make an exception.” pic.twitter.com/xXqzWDjAD0
Two years back, the family had announced that Nouri had awoken from the coma and had returned home to his family.