Reuters2 minute read
Ajax AmsterdamDutch league away match against RKC Waalwijk was abandoned on Saturday in the 84th minute after the RKC goalkeeper Etienne Vaessen He was knocked unconscious in a collision with an opposing player.
Vaessen fell after a collision with the Ajax striker Brian Brobbeycausing panic reactions among his teammates who frantically called for medical help.
Screens were placed around the goalkeeper to protect him from public view and players from both teams watched with tears in their eyes as a defibrillator was brought onto the field.
Vaessen remained motionless on the field for minutes before he was carried away on a stretcher after regaining consciousness. Both teams entered and after deliberating the game was suspended.
“Etienne was unconscious for a while,” RKC director Frank van Mosselveld told broadcaster NOS about an hour after the incident.
“Our medical staff began resuscitation immediately, but it appears it was not a problem with his heart. He was conscious again when he left the field, but did not know where he was.”
ESPN Netherlands reported that Vaessen, 28, had been taken by ambulance to the hospital.
Ajax led the match 3-2 when play was stopped. Van Mosselveld said the RKC players were not in a position to resume the match.
“The players close to the incident were devastated,” he told ESPN Netherlands. “They broke right there on the field. Other players broke when they came in. You can imagine the impact.
“We gathered everyone and quickly decided together with our captain Michael Kramer that there was no option to resume the game.
“Although at that time we knew that Vaessen was conscious again, I was talking to the referees and our captain came to tell me that they were so excited that they couldn’t play anymore.”