Ajax player Abdelhak Nouri collapsed on the field during a pre-season warm-up game in Austria versus German side Werder Bremen on July 8. The 20-year-old, known as Appie, was airlifted to an Austrian hospital and was later transferred to a facility in Amsterdam. A club statement revealed he has no chance of recovering from "serious and permanent brain damage" caused by a lack of oxygen. It led to an outpouring of support for his family by Ajax fans, who rallied outside the player’s family home in the Geuzenveld district of Amsterdam and chanted his name. Supporters were seen unfurling banners saying "Stay Strong Appie" and lighting flares in a huge show of support.
The club and fans also paid an emotional tribute to ‘Appie’ on August 2 ahead of their Champions League qualifier against Nice. Supporters unfurled a huge motif featuring the player ahead of the sold out match at the Amsterdam Arena. On 34 minutes - signifying Nouri's shirt number - fans also gave 'Appie' and his family a standing ovation while players from both sides paused for a moment during a break in play to join in the touching tribute.