Paris Saint-Germain and Ivory Coast defender Serge Aurier has been praised after “saving the life” of Mali forward Moussa Doumbia on Saturday.
After Doumbia was knocked unconscious in a challenge with Sunderland’s Lamine Kone, Aurier intervened to stop the Rostov player swallowing his tongue.
Mali’s manager Alain Giresse added that he spoke to Aurier after the game to thank him for his “superb reactions”.
Ivory Coast went on to win the home 2018 World Cup qualifier 3-1 in Bouake.
“All the players realised that Doumbia was choking and was about to swallow his tongue,” Giresse told French radio station RMC.
“That’s when Aurier, with one of our players, quickly put him on his side and pulled out his tongue, because he was about to lose his life.”
However, Aurier later caused controversy by making a throat-slit gesture towards the crowd after his side’s third goal.
The celebration was the latest in a string of incidents involving the full-back.
In September, he was sentenced to two months in jail for elbowing a police officer, but remains free pending an appeal.
And in February, he was suspended by Paris St-Germain after appearing to use homophobic language to insult then-coach Laurent Blanc.
He had also called team-mate Angel di Maria a “clown” as he answered questions from fans on social media app Periscope.