Ajax pays tribute to Nouri in Champions League match against Nice
Goose bumps and tears filled the Johan Cruijff Arena in Amsterdam on Tuesday night as tribute was paid to Ajax footballer Abdelhak Nouri during the Championship League match between Ajax and Nice. Nouri sustained serious and permanent brain damage after he collapsed during a practice match a few weeks ago.
Many supporters were wearing Nouri shirts on Tuesday, and banners were hung in and around the stadium to show support for him and his family, according to RTL Nieuws. The match started with a tribute video played on the screens in the stadium, followed by a standing ovation from the some 52 thousand football supporters.
At minute 34 - the number on Nouri's shirt - the match was halted. The entire arena, including the Nice supporters, stood in honor of the young Ajax player. The players on the field and English referee Andre Marriner stopped what they were doing and applauded. Nouri's father and brother attended the match and were visibly moved by this gesture.
Donny van de Beek, one of Nouri's close friends and fellow Ajax footballer, admitted to getting goose bumps to Fox Sports after the match. Ajax captain Joel Veltman thanked the referee for allowing the match to be stopped for this beautiful tribute.
The match ended in a 2-2 draw, which was not enough for Ajax. The Amsterdam team is eliminated form the Champions League.