Ajax renames talent award after Abdelhak Nouri
Ajax renamed its annual talent of the future award to the Abdelhak Nouri Trophy. On Thursday 16-year-old Ajax midfielder Ryan Gravenberch received the award in the presence of Nouri's father Mohamed and brother Abderrahim.
"The prize for talent of the future is a wonderful gesture and a great prize, we are grateful that this award bears Abdelhak's name", brother Abderrahim said to NOS. "It is also very difficult for us as family at the same time, because this was the place where Abdelhak spent many years with great pleasure, passion and dedication." Abderrahim added that his brother won many individual prizes. "That always motivated him to work harder and do his best. Hopefully this will be just as motivating for young players to get the best out of themselves."
Abdelhak Nouri sustained severe and permanent brain damage after collapsing during a practice match last year. Earlier this week his family announced that they are stepping to the KNVB arbitration committee, because Ajax refuses to accept any responsibility for what happened to the young footballer.
According to the family's lawyer John Beer, the renaming of the trophy is separate from the arbitration case. "This is only beautiful and honorable", Beer said to the broadcaster. "It's about appreciation for the great footballer and is separate from the legal dispute."
The trophy consists of two bronze hands forming a heart, a trademark move of Nouri. "The trophy stands for love, solidarity and togetherness", Ajax general manager Edwin van der Sar said on Twitter.