FIFA has awarded a special award to a footballer who saved the life of an opponent with his quick thinking.
Luka Lochoshvili, a Georgian defender, ran to Georg Teigl after he fell unconscious in an Austrian Bundesliga match between Wolfsberger AC and Austria Wien last February.
Austria Wien right-back Teigl, 32, sustained a head injury when he collided with an opponent’s knee in a challenge.
The game was briefly interrupted by Lochoshvili (24), who spotted the seriousness and ran over to Teigl.
Realizing Teigl was at high risk of choking, Lochohvili entered his mouth to appear to take his tongue out of his throat just as the team medics arrived.
Teigl suffered a skull fracture and a broken jaw and cheekbone in the incident. Teigl later thanked Lochoshvili via an Instagram post: “Thanks, Luka Lochoshvili, for your quick responses.”
“Your intervention could have saved my life!”
Lochoshvili now plays for Cremonese in Italy and was presented with the FIFA Fair Play award at The Best FIFA Football Awards.
Lochoshvili spoke via video link at Paris’s awards ceremony and said that it was a great honour for him. He would like to thank the judges for this award.
“I am very happy about this, but even more so that Georg was saved.” Fair play and respect are the most important aspects of football.
As the match was drawing to a close, the incident occurred on February 27, last year.
After the last whistle, both teams’ players ran up to Lochoshvili to express their gratitude.
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Robin Dutt, Wolfsberger AC coach, said afterwards: “It’s an amazing feat by Luca.
“In all honesty, that was the most important moment of the pitch today.”
Manfred Schmid, Austria Wien boss, also praised Lochoshvili by saying that it was a “very dramatic moment.”
“We can only thank Lochoshvili and congratulate him for his efforts. It’s not always easy, even with the right training and experience, to be able to respond in a crisis like this.
Teigl has since been able to recover and is now playing football for the Austrian club.