Togolese international Francis Kone was the hero of the hour when his quick-thinking quite possibly saved the life of an opponent during a Czech First League game at the weekend.
Bohemians goalkeeper Martin Berkovec was knocked out cold when he accidentally collided with a teammate on the edge of his penalty area.
Realising the seriousness of the situation, Slovacko striker Kone immediately rolled Berkovec over and pulled his tongue from the back of his throat, thus preventing the prone ‘keeper from choking.
Francis Koné le salvó la vida al portero rival, quien se convulsionó en la liga de República Checa. pic.twitter.com/EXJLB3P3Ht
— Toque Al Toque (@ToqueAlToque) February 27, 2017
Speaking after the match, Kone revealed that he knew what to do having experienced similar incidents earlier in his career.
It wasn’t the first time I have done that. It’s something like the fourth time. Twice in Africa, once in Thailand.
I immediately checked to see if he had swallowed his tongue.
Both Berkovec and the defender he ran into, Daniel Krch, were taken to hospital for trauma tests.
According to ESPN FC, a message was read over the stadium loudspeakers shortly after half-time to announce that both players were “fine”, which duly prompted a round of applause from the crowd.
— Bohemians Praha 1905 (@bohemians1905) February 25, 2017
“We want to say thank you to Koné and the emergency team of FC Slovacka for the rescue of our players! You guys! #BOHSLO”
The game went on to finish goalless, but the result was a secondary matter as far as Bohemians coach Miroslav Koubek was concerned:
I would like to put sport to one side and thank Kone, who provided first aid.
He acted very professionally in the situation, administered first aid and retrieved his tongue.
As far as I’m concerned, that was more important than the whole game.
After being discharged from hospital, Berkovec took the time to thank Kone for his quick-thinking via Facebook:
I would like to thank Francis Kone for his quick action in saving me during today’s match.
I am grateful for the prompt help, and once again THANK YOU!!!
Hear hear. Well played that man.