Ajax match against RKC Waalwijk abandoned after goalkeeper collapses

BREAKING NEWS: Ajax match against RKC Waalwijk is abandoned after goalkeeper collapses following collision – with players left in tears

  • RKC Waalwijk goalkeeper Etienne Vaessen collapsed and had to be resuscitated
  • The game was suspended as players tearfully shielded Vaessen’s body from view

Ajax Amsterdam’s Dutch league away game against RKC Waalwijk was abandoned in the 84th minute on Saturday after RKC goalkeeper Etienne Vaessen was knocked out in a clash with an opposing player.

Vaessen went down after a collision with Ajax forward Brian Brobbey, causing panicked reactions from his team mates as they frantically called for medical help.

Screens were put up around the goalkeeper to shield him from the public eye and players from both sides watched with tears in their eyes as a defibrillator was rushed on to the field.

Vaessen lay motionless on the field for minutes before he was carried away on a stretcher. Both teams went inside and after deliberations the game was called off.

‘Etienne was knocked out for a while,’ RKC director Frank van Mosselveld told broadcaster NOS about an hour after the incident.

‘Our medical staff started reanimation straightaway but it looks like it wasn’t a problem with his heart. He was conscious again when he left the field but he did not know where he was.’

Dutch newspaper Telegraaf said Vaessen, 28, had been taken to hospital.

The game between RKC Waalwijk and Ajax was abandoned after Etienne Vaessen collapsed

The RKC Waalwijk players were left in tears following the distressing incident

Vaessen made his debut for RKC in 2016 and has made over 180 appearances for the club

RKC goalkeeper Mark Spenkelink was left distressed after the incident involving Vaessen

The official Ajax account on X, formerly known as Twitter, later wrote: ‘The match has been temporarily halted due to an apparently serious medical situation. We are thinking of you, Etienne.

‘This is about more than football. Praying you’re okay, Etienne.’ 

RKC wrote: ‘Dear RKC members, The match has finally been stopped. As soon as we know more, we will get back to you. Thanks for now and have a good trip home.’

Ajax had been leading 3-2 when the game was suspended, with Steven Berghuis having put his side ahead.

Vaessen, 28, has spent his entire senior career at RKC Waalwijk having made his debut for the club in 2016. 

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