Elite Ice Hockey League issues neck guard guidance after Adam Johnson's death

credit must read: PANTHERs IMAGES
Adam Johnson. Credit: Panthers Images

Ice hockey players competing at the top level in the UK will not be made to wear neck guards despite the death of Adam Johnson.

The Elite Ice Hockey League (EIHL) has announced that protecters will continue to be recommended, but stopped short of making them mandatory.

The guidance follows a separate ruling from the English Ice Hockey Association (EIHA), which governs the game below the top level, that neck guards will be compulsory attire for all players from next year.

A spokesperson for Elite Ice Hockey League said: "Player safety and welfare is our top priority and we work with players, officials, clubs, and the relevant authorities to review research and advice to understand how we continually enhance the safety of our sport.

Flowers and messages left in tribute to Nottingham Panthers’ ice hockey player Adam Johnson outside the Motorpoint Arena in Nottingham Credit: Jacob King/PA

"All clubs continue to follow the existing guidance from the International Ice Hockey Federation, that the use of a BNQ or other ISO Standard neck laceration protector is recommended.

"The Elite Ice Hockey League strongly encourages players and officials to wear one and clubs and the League will continue to support players and officials to do so."

Nottingham Panthers forward Johnson, 29, was fatally injured when his neck was cut by an opposing player's skate in a game against the Sheffield Steelers in Sheffield on Saturday. He died the following day.

An inquest into his death opened in Sheffield on Friday.

EIHL fixtures will resume this weekend after being suspended midweek, but the Panthers and the Steelers will not play.

South Yorkshire Police is investigating the incident, but has said its enquiries are "complex" and will take some time.

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