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Council elected

Four-year term begins for IIHF leadership

PUBLISHED : Friday, 27 May, 2016, 3:16pm
UPDATED : Friday, 27 May, 2016, 3:19pm

Five new members join the IIHF Council after the 2016 IIHF Annual Congress in Moscow has voted on the leadership for a new four-year term.

The executive of the International Ice Hockey Federation includes 13 voting members and the General Secretary, Horst Lichtner, as a non-voting member. And the race for the places has been very tight in the end.

The elections began the applications for the President and the three Vice Presidents. Rene Fasel was the only applicant to serve as President and was unanimously elected to serve a new four-year term in the position. The same with the three Vice Presidents: Kalervo Kummola will continue his mandate as Vice President representing Europe and Africa, Bob Nicholson for the Americas and Thomas Wu for Asia and Oceania. Chunlu Wang from China withdrew her application.

“The success of international ice hockey has been achieved thanks to consensus among stakeholders. Consent and finding compromises are important and our strategy won’t change for the new term,” Fasel said in his opening speech and underlined the goal to continue with NHL participation at the Olympic Winter Games for the sixth consecutive time, the Champions Hockey League that concluded its second season, ice hockey in Asia and the growth of women’s hockey.

“In Asia we were given the golden opportunity to grow the game with the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Korea and the 2022 Olympic Winter Games in China,” Fasel said.

“We have two Olympic Games upcoming in Asia. Asia is a very big continent with a big population and I’m happy to continue to serve as a bridge and make hockey better known in Asia. It’s an exciting time for hockey in Asia,” Thomas Wu added.

A point Fasel outlined in particular was player safety.

“It influences whether a child will pick up a hockey stick for the first time and whether professional players can end their careers in a way they don’t regret having played the sport,” the President said mentioning concussions have to be taken serious. Hits against the head have to be sanctioned harder and all stakeholders have to continue the improvement of the equipment and rinks.

“We are not thinking of changing the culture of the sport or the elements that make the game exciting.”

“I thank you for the confidence you gave to me to serve one more term. After resigning as the President for the Finnish Ice Hockey Association recently I have more time to work in international ice hockey. We have challenges in international ice hockey but we can find solutions,” Kummola said after being confirmed as Vice President.

“It’s an absolute privilege to represent the International Ice Hockey Federation again. We have to make sure young boys and girls play and that we put programs together whether you’re a large or a small nation in a healthy and safe environment,” Nicholson said after being elected for a second term as Vice President.

Next was the election of the statutory minimum of two female Council members with three candidates running for the vacancies. Returning Council member Zsuzsanna Kolbenheyer was re-elected with the best result.

Four years ago she came in as a new member having mostly been known as a long-time Hungarian national team player and chairing women’s hockey in her country. After four years and being better known in her new environment she’s happy to continue serving on the Council and continue developing the women’s game.

Marta Zawadzka was elected as a new Council member. She has been a board member and delegate for the Polish Ice Hockey Association for the last four years.

“I’m proud to be a member of this hockey family. My father was a hockey referee and thanks to him I learned all the rules and became passionate to play the game,” Zawadzka said in her speech.

As the last and largest part the seven additional voting members of the Council were elected with 14 applicants including five members from the previous term.

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