International

Nouri's family seek 'hefty' damages from Ajax

2018-06-04 17:26
(File)

The Hague - The family of Ajax midfielder Abdelhak Nouri, who suffered permanent brain damage after collapsing at a friendly last year, are seeking compensation to pay for life-long care, Dutch media said Monday.

The 21-year-old, dubbed Appie, "will never be able to live as normal again, and will be dependant on care and therapy," his lawyer John Beer said, quoted by the Dutch news agency ANP.

"He will never be able to work again."

His family on Monday filed a case to the arbitration committee of the Dutch Football Federation (KNVB), and are seeking "substantial damages," Beer said, adding "we are not just talking about hundreds of thousands".

Nouri collapsed suddenly with a heart problem during the pre-match warmup before Ajax played German club Werder Bremen, in Austria in July last year.

He was hospitalised in intensive care in Innsbruck, Austria, before being transferred to a hospital in Amsterdam.

In a statement released via their lawyer, the family alleged Nouri "did not receive the appropriate care after collapsing on the pitch in Austria".

Despite attempts to talk with Ajax, the club "has denied any and all liability".

Questions remain over when cardiac resuscitation was first administered. According to the Dutch daily NRC, television images suggested it was "certainly not for at least the first five minutes" after the club doctor arrived.

"If a correct and adequate course of action had been taken" the family maintained, the "severe consequences" Nouri suffered "could very likely have been prevented".

The KNVB had also reportedly discovered during a routine medical examination in 2014 that Nouri had a heart malformation, but it was judged to be harmless by their medical staff and his family was not informed.

Nouri himself was reportedly told about the medical findings and that was deemed to be enough because he was over 16.

The player, who joined Ajax at the age of seven had been one of the club's young hopes, but suffered "grave and permanent" brain damage, the club admitted last year.

"A large part of his brain is not functioning anymore and... the chances of re-establishing these cerebral functions in non-existent," Ajax said after the tragedy.

ANP reported the KNVB now has time to prepare its case, and that the arbitration committee could meet within the next three months.

"The proceedings before the arbitration committee not only serve the best interests of Abdelhak Nouri, the entire football community ... would benefit from unequivocal ruling," the family said.

 

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