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Hockey player Timur Faizutdinov, 19, dies after being hit by puck for Dynamo St. Petersburg

A 19-year-old Russian hockey player has died after being hit in the head by the puck during a game, his club and the league said Tuesday.

Defenseman Timur Faizutdinov was playing for Dynamo St. Petersburg’s junior team in a playoff game against Loko Yaroslavl on Friday when he was struck by a puck hit from the neutral zone.

Faizutdinov collapsed and was treated on the ice by the team doctor and paramedics before being taken to a hospital in the city of Yaroslavl.

The Junior Hockey League said Faizutdinov died Tuesday after “doctors fought for Timur’s life over the course of three days.”

Dynamo said upcoming games in competitions, including the Kontinental Hockey League, will begin with a minute’s silence for Faizutdinov.

Defenseman Timur Faizutdinov has passed away. Credit: Dynamo St. Petersburg

NRL boss forced to apologise to Junior Paulo

The NRL has apologised to Junior Paulo and promised a review of their social media processes after a tweet of the Parramatta prop alongside a gorilla emoji was posted from the league’s official account.

A tweet showing a picture of Paulo after he scored the match-sealing try against Brisbane along with the word “JUNIOR” with the gorilla graphic, remained online for around 30 minutes on Friday night.

That prompted Eels officials to contact the NRL, concerned about the racial connotations linked to the Samoa international.

It was deleted shortly after, but not before catching the attention of several users who questioned its appropriateness.

The NRL has apologised to Junior Paulo.
The NRL has apologised to Junior Paulo. Credit: Getty

The NRL employee who created the post maintains he was not aware of the racial connotations, but NRL CEO Andrew Abdo reached out to both Paulo and the Eels.

“This was a very bad error of judgement,” Abdo told AAP.

“The emoji was clearly inappropriate and it should never have been posted.

“I have personally apologised to Junior and the club and we are reviewing our social media processes to ensure there are stronger checks and balances in place before an item is posted.

“We will also engage in further education programs with the team responsible for our social media accounts.”

Paulo accepted the apology, and believes there was no malice involved in the incident.

The incident comes after the NRL made cuts to their social media team as part of business-wide cost-cutting during the pandemic last year.

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