Netherlands football club Ajax announced that 20-year-old midfielder Abdelhak Nouri, who collapsed on the pitch during a Saturday friendly, has suffered “severe and permanent brain damage.” Nouri had been in an induced coma since the incident, which began when he suffered cardiac arrhythmia during the match and had to be resuscitated on the field.
This development comes as a bit of a shock, because many reports this week about Nouri’s condition were optimistic. As ESPN notes:
The diagnosis comes two days after tests indicated that Nouri’s heart was undamaged while a CT scan of his brain and neurological tests showed no irregularities either.
The club even tweeted that Nouri was “out of danger” hours after the incident, though they later warned that his brain functions couldn’t be tested properly until after he came out of the coma.
Nouri was a promising young player for the legendary Dutch club. Last season, as a member of Ajax’s reserve team, he won the Player of the Season award in the second tier of Dutch football. He also scored 9 goals in 19 appearances for the Netherlands’ U-19 national team.