The FIS Congress has been postponed until June 5 in 2021 ©Getty Images

The International Ski Federation Congress, where a successor to President Gian-Franco Kasper is due to be elected, has been postponed until June 2021.

Swiss city Zürich was due to host the Congress on October 4, but it will no longer go ahead because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Slovenian town of Portorož is now due to be the venue for the Congress on June 5 2021. 

The FIS said its Medical Committee Expert Group had advised health and safety standards could not be met given the risk posed by the pandemic, plus travel restrictions and mandatory quarantine periods may have prevented some from attending.

FIS Technical Committee meetings that had been scheduled to take place in Zürich in the same week as the Congress will not go ahead in person, but are to proceed online from September 29 to October 2.

The FIS Council will then meet on October 3 - again online - to elect hosts for the 2025 editions of the World Ski Championships in Alpine and Nordic disciplines.

There is a three-way battle to host the 2025 Alpine World Ski Championships between Crans Montana in Switzerland, Garmisch-Partenkirchen in Germany and Saalbach in Austria.

Trondheim in Norway is the only candidate to host the 2025 Nordic World Ski Championships, so looks set to be granted the honour unopposed.

Kasper has led the FIS for 22 years, but intended to step down in June.

He is the organisation's fourth President.

Gian-Franco Kasper is set to remain FIS President until June 2021 ©Getty Images
Gian-Franco Kasper is set to remain FIS President until June 2021 ©Getty Images

Kasper was re-elected in 2018 and is currently serving a four-year term, which his successor will complete.

Swiss-Ski has nominated its President, Urs Lehmann, for the role of FIS President, while Swedish billionaire Johan Eliasch has been nominated by GB Snowsport. 

Pushing the Congress back to 2021 was "a difficult yet easy decision for the FIS Council to make", Kasper said.

"The current status of the COVID-19 outbreak globally and the resulting travel restrictions made it clear that this was not the time to bring our global FIS family together. 

"However, it is very difficult for FIS to delay the Congress until next spring. 

"The Congress is the backbone of our democratic process and governance and we do not take its postponement lightly. 

"Nevertheless, we look forward to the day when all FIS stakeholders will meet together next spring in Portorož."

The pandemic curtailed the end of the 2019-2020 skiing season, with the FIS Alpine Ski World Cup Finals in Cortina d'Ampezzo the most notable cancellation, and as this news shows it is likely to have a significant impact on events in the 2020-2021 season as well.

Local organisers had at one stage asked for the 2021 Alpine World Ski Championships - also in Cortina d'Ampezzo - to be pushed back to 2022 in light of the crisis, but the current plan is for the FIS' marquee event to go ahead in February 2021.

Portorož has been chosen as the new Congress venue as it is already due to be hosting meetings of various FIS Committees in the days beforehand.