He was the only African player amongst the recipients of the FIFA Awards held in London early this. His name is Francis Kone, who plies his trade in the Czech league with FC Slovacko.
He was honoured with a Fair Play award by FIFA for a life-saving gesture on the goalkeeper of an opposing team during a league match in February.
During the said game between FC Slovacko and Bohemians 1905, goalkeeper Martin Berkovec collided with his defender and dropped heavily to the ground, gasping for air and nearly swallowed his tongue.
Kone intervened timely using his fingers to move Berkovec’s tongue to prevent suffocation.
“I was close to the action. I saw the goalkeeping going down and knew he was in trouble so I jumped over to hold him down to offer some help,” Kone told French radio RFI.
“This is the fourth time it is happening to me. I don’t know why it always happens with me around and close. Perhaps God wants to use me to save lives.”
Kone was born in Ivory Coast and has families in Togo. He is yet to play for the national team of either nation.