Ivory Coast soccer player Serge Aurier is being applauded for his quick actions that saved the life of Mali-striker Moussa Doumbia during their World Cup qualifying match on Saturday, according to BBC. The 22-year-old Doumbia, who plays for Rostov in Russia, was knocked unconscious in an aerial challenge with Ivory Coast defender, Lamine Kone. BBC reports that Aurier’s quick thinking prevented the unconscious Doumbia from swallowing his tongue.
“All players realized that Doumbia was chocking and was about to swallow his tongue. That’s when Aurier, with one of our players, quickly put him on his side and pulled out his tongue,” Mali’s Team Manager Alain Giresse told French radio station, RMC.
Giresse added that he spoke to Aurier defender after the matc, thanking him for his quick intervention.
Ivory Coast came from a goal down to win the match 3-1 in their opening Group C clash of the 2018 World Cup qualifiers in Bouake Stadium.
String of Controversy
As of late, the 24-year-old Aurier has been making headlines for all the wrong reasons.
On Saturday, he celebrated Ivory Coast’s third goal by making a controversial throat-slitting gesture towards the crowd.
This comes just weeks after the Ivorian defender was sentenced to two months in prison in France for elbowing a police officer after being asked to take a breathalyzer test.
But Aurier has promised to appeal the sentence, claiming he was a victim of police brutality.
In February, he was suspended by his French club, Paris Saint-Germain, for using homophobic insults against his former team manager Laurent Blanc.