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Former Ajax ace Abdelhak Nouri is able to enjoy football again nearly three years after he collapsed on the pitch and was put into an induced coma, his family have confirmed.

The Dutchman, nicknamed ‘Appie’, suffered a cardiac arrhythmia attack during Ajax’s pre-season friendly clash with Werder Bremen back in July 2017 and sustained severe and permanent brain damage caused by a lack of oxygen supply.

Nouri’s family asked for privacy in the days and weeks following the incident and messages of support flooded in for the youngster from around the world of sport.

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The 22-year-old awoke from his coma in the summer of 2018 and now ‘sleeps, eats, frowns and burps’ but remains bedridden and ‘very dependent’ on his family members.

This week, Nouri’s brother has told Dutch outlet De Wereld Draait Door that his younger sibling is ‘doing well’ in a house which has been designed to cater for his specific needs.

Abderrahim, who communicates with Abdelhak through eyebrow signals and smiles, says that the former midfielder has even started watching football again.

‘He has not been home very long, we take care of him there now,’ Abderrahim said.

‘I must say that since he is at home it is going much better than before in the hospital. He is aware of where he is, he is back in a familiar environment with his family.

‘He’s no longer in a coma. He’s just awake. He sleeps, he sneezes, he eats, he burps, but it’s not like he gets out of bed. He’s very bedridden and still very dependent on us. On his good days there is a form of communication, for example, confirmation with his eyebrows or a smile. But you notice that he can’t last that very long.

‘We talk to him like he’s not sick. We take him into our conversations and we watch football with him in the living room, for example. Then he watches. You notice that he likes that very much. 

‘He often shows emotions. Sometimes he is emotional, but often there is also a smile. That does us good. That makes you really appreciate a smile.’

His father Mohammed added: ‘We have to take care of him at our very best.

‘We try to do a lot ourselves.’

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Ferrari agree to be ‘flexible’ to allow F1 to get back on track as soon as possible amid coronavirus shutdown

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FERRARI boss Mattia Binotto says his team are willing to be “flexible” to allow F1 chiefs to run as many races as possible this season.

Binotto says F1’s most famous team, known for their hardline stance when it comes to rules, say they will be open to the sport’s plans once the coronavirus pandemic has scaled down.

 Mattia Binnoto Ferrari

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Mattia Binnoto FerrariCredit: Getty Images – Getty


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The Ferrari chief is open to double-race weekends to allow the sport achieve F1 CEO Chase Carey’s goal of putting on between 15 and 18 races this season.

He said: “We know from the sporting regulations that to have a world championship you need at least eight races, but everyone is trying to look for more than that.

“I think what will be important for us is really to be flexible. I’m pretty sure Chase and the teams will be capable of putting together the best championship we can have. “From our side, we are ready for whatever is needed whether short race weekends, double races, whenever it will finish or packing the races together.

“It is important to be flexible and making sure we can have good races as well for the fans.

The Canadian GP became the ninth race to be either scrapped or postponed and there is no news yet when the season will finally get underway. Binotto added: “No one can really know [when the season will start].

“F1 is certainly trying to organise the best season, maybe starting early July if that would be possible but we cannot have any confirmation at the moment. But I think by the end of May we will have a clearer picture.

“I think it is in the interests of everyone to start racing when we can, when that will be possible, and have as many races as we can but I think now it’s too early to have a clear picture of what will be the future.”

F1 chiefs were on a conference call on Monday where they discussed plans for a budget cap from the 2021 season.

Smaller teams have been pushing for tighter controls on how much the bigger teams spend.

McLaren boss Zak Brown wants the $175m (£143m) annual cost cap reduced, but Binnotto, whose team spend around double that per year, is not so keen.

He said: “I think we should avoid being emotional at the moment.

“We are fully aware of the difficulties of some teams and we are fully aware we need to address costs for the future of F1 – reducing costs is the first driver of making sure each single team is surviving.

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“We are discussing a budget-cap reduction but we should not forget in doing that exercise that we’ve got different structures, and different assets.

“There are teams which are constructors like Ferrari and other top teams where we are designing, developing, homologating and producing each single component of our cars.

“Other teams are customers, buying some parts, and do not have the same structures. So when discussing a budget cap we must not forget we have different situations, and it’s important we found a common ground which is suited to the different situations and maybe the answer is not a single budget cap equal for all the teams.”

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Arteta spying on Arsenal stars using hi-tech GPS systems during lockdown to ensure fitness levels don’t drop

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MIKEL ARTETA is plugging his players into a GPS network – to spy on their fitness levels during the coronavirus lockdown.

Having already used GPS vests in normal training, the Gunners are now wearing trackers to monitor their individual regimes at home.

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 Players like Brazilian defender David Luiz already have home gyms and will now be monitored even more closely by Arsenal thanks to GPS

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Players like Brazilian defender David Luiz already have home gyms and will now be monitored even more closely by Arsenal thanks to GPSCredit: Instagram

 Bosnian defender Sead Kolasinac is already used to focusing on weight training

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Bosnian defender Sead Kolasinac is already used to focusing on weight trainingCredit: https://www.instagram.com/seadk6/

It means Arsenal’s fitness department can closely analyse the results as players try to maintain as much sharpness as possible.

Defenders Sead Kolasinac and David Luiz are among many Gunners who pretty much have home gyms.

So Arteta is confident he can trust his squad to stick to the training programmes they were given when match action was suspended last month amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Football.london says Arsenal have joined a handful of Premier League rivals, including neighbours Tottenham in installing a hi-tech system.

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Spurs are thought to be teaming up with STAT Sports so that player data can be sent back to the club via an app.

Jose Mourinho’s men have also united for some training sessions by using video conferencing platforms like Zoom.

But Prem clubs’ fitness experts are realistic about what can be achieved in limited space.

So most are focusing more on strength and conditioning, rather than hoping players can replicate ballwork or sprinting.

Meanwhile Manchester United and Barcelona have reportedly joined Arsenal in chasing Real Madrid starlet Cesar Gelabert.

AS say the Spanish attacking midfielder, 19, could make a shock summer exit.

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Leeds players handed shock PAY RISE by owner for agreeing to to defer wages during coronavirus pandemic

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LEEDS UNITED stars will be getting a wage BONUS when the coronavirus crisis is over.

Players have agreed to take hefty cuts on their salaries while the Championship season remains postponed.


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 Leeds stars will get a pay rise when the season resumes as reward for deferring their wages

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Leeds stars will get a pay rise when the season resumes as reward for deferring their wagesCredit: Getty Images – Getty

Along with manager Marcelo Bielsa, up to half of their wages have been deferred.

But owner Andrea Radrizzani has offered them a 2 per cent raise when things get back to normal as a token of thanks.

Leeds have already taken £1million off their £3m monthly wage bill.

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And players are said to be delighted by Radrizanni’s gesture during a tough time for the game.

Leeds were top of the table when football was halted.

And promotion to the top flight would have guaranteed £170m in the bank.

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However, FA chiefs are yet to decide how and when the season should resume.

Indeed, there is talk it could be branded null and void, meaning there are no winners or losers and everyone will be back to square one at the start of next season.

Meanwhile, Leeds have been boosted by Kalvin Phillips’ declaration of intent to stay at Elland Road for the rest of his career.

The midfielder is believed to be a target for Spurs and Jose Mourinho.

But Phillips intends on remaining at Leeds for some time to come, saying: “I want to spend my career and Leeds and see the club doing well in the Premier League.

“I’m just enjoying every minute right now.”

Leeds promotion in doubt as EFL admit they do not know what will happen after season postponed due to coronavirus

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