Europe

Euro 2020: Georgia opponent rushes to Swiss player's aid

Switzerland's Fabian Schaer injured during the UEFA Euro 2020 qualifier against Georgia in Tbilisi, 23 March 2019 Image copyright EPA
Image caption Schaer's tongue muscle relaxed, blocking his throat

A Switzerland football player knocked out in an aerial clash in a Euro 2020 qualifier received emergency help from a member of rival team Georgia.

Fabian Schaer's head collided with the skull of Georgia's Jemal Tabidze as both went for the ball in the 24th minute of the match in Tbilisi.

Schaer lay unconscious on the ground, his tongue obstructing his breathing.

Georgian player Jano Ananidze rushed to his aid, using his fingers to try to free Schaer's airway.

Image copyright Reuters

Schaer recovered quickly after further treatment from Swiss first-aiders, Swiss daily Blick reports, and was able to continue playing, helping set up Switzerland's second-half goals for their 2:0 victory.

"It looks awful. I can't remember anything," the Newcastle player told the paper after being shown video footage. "I was out for a few seconds. My skull is still humming. And I've got neck ache and a bruise on my forehead. But it was worth it."

Most first aid advice suggests putting a patient into the recovery position if they are unconscious or unresponsive, to prevent the tongue blocking breathing.

Tabidze also lay motionless after the clash, his shirt covered in blood, but he, too, recovered.

A British sports therapist, Nathan Benjamin-Smith, says it is risky to insert one's fingers into a player's mouth in such cases. Instead, he says, the tongue blockage can be remedied by tilting the unconscious player's head back and lifting his/her chin, to clear the airway.

Image copyright EPA
Image caption Georgia's Jemal Tabidze was on the other end of the clash

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