Soccer Player Saves The Life Of Choking Opponent During Match

Remarkably, it’s the fourth time that Francis Kone has saved a player’s life on the field

Teammates and opponents alike should feel a little safer when Francis Kone, a striker for the Czech Republic team, Slovácko, is on the field. During a match yesterday against Bohemians 1905, the opposition’s goalkeeper, Martin Berkovec, collided violently with his own defender, instantly knocking him to the ground. Kone rushed over to the fallen goalkeeper and found him unconscious and swallowing his tongue. Thinking quickly, Kone reached into Berkovec’s mouth and dislodged his tongue from his airway, a move that, according to Czech news outlets, likely saved the player’s life.

While checking to see if an unconscious player has swallowed his tongue might not seem like standard operating procedure for most athletes, Kone has done it several times. “It has been four times,” he said after the game. “Once in Thailand and twice in Africa. I’m always checking the players, to make sure they have not swallowed their tongue.”

Later, Berkovec took to Facebook to thank Kone for his quick thinking:

The accompanying comment, made in his native Czech, reads, “I would like to thank Francis Kone for rescue and emergency at today’s game … I’m glad for the relief and thanks again!!!”

Berkovec stayed the night in a hospital for observation, but is expected to be released today fully recovered.