In a Czech First League soccer match Saturday between Bohemians 1905 and Slovacko in Prague, the biggest save of the day was made on a goalie.
Bohemians goalkeeper Martin Berkovec immediately appeared to be in trouble after colliding with defender Daniel Krch. The impact left Berkovec and Krch down, with the referee and players immediately and frantically signaling for medical attention, but it was the quick action of Slovacko’s Francis Kone that saved Berkovec’s life. He turned Berkovec onto his side, reached into the goalie’s mouth and kept the unconscious player from swallowing his tongue by pulling it up from the back of his throat.
The incredible thing is that Kone says he has done this more often than you might think on the pitch.
“It’s something like the fourth time,” Kone, a Togolese forward, told members of the Czech media (via ESPN). “Twice in Africa and once in Thailand. I immediately checked to see if he had swallowed his tongue.”
Francis Kone (Togo) saves Martin Berkovec’s life by preventing him swallowing his tongue after a horrific collision pic.twitter.com/DoVWe84tPM
— Arsène’s Son (@hughwizzy) February 26, 2017
Berkovec was kept overnight for observation at a hospital and a CT scan showed no injury. He is expected to fully recover and posted his thanks, along with a harrowing photo, on Facebook.
“I would like to thank Francis Kone for his quick action in saving me during today’s match,” Berkovec, 28, wrote. “I am grateful for the prompt help, and once again THANK YOU!!!”
“I would like to put sport to one side and thank Kone, who provided first aid,” Bohemians Coach Miroslav Koubek said.
“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.”
Krch was taken to…