Five candidates are standing for the IIHF Presidency ©IIHF

The International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) has announced five candidates are seeking to succeed René Fasel as President at the governing body’s Semi-Annual Congress in September.

Swiss official Fasel has led the IIHF since 1996.

An International Olympic Committee member, Fasel had been due to step down as IIHF President in 2020 before his term was extended after the electoral Congress was postponed until this year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

German Ice Hockey Federation (DEB) President Franz Reindl announced his candidacy for the position last month, but will face several other challengers.

Denmark’s Henrik Bach Nielsen, Petr Briza of the Czech Republic, Belarus’ Sergej Gontcharov and France’s Luc Tardif also met the deadline to stand in the election.

All five candidates are members of the IIHF Council.

Bach Nielsen has served as the head of the Danish Ice Hockey Association since 2007 and has been part of the IIHF's ruling Council since 2012.

His tenure has included Denmark hosting the Men’s Ice Hockey World Championship for the first time back in 2018.

Briza played professional ice hockey for 23 years and represented his nation in seven World Championships and three Olympic Games during his career.

He was the goaltender the Czechoslovakia’s bronze medal winning team at the Albertville 1992 Winter Olympics.

Briza served as Sparta Prague’s general manager and chairman after his retirement, before being elected to the Czech Ice Hockey Association (CIHA) Board in 2008.

He served as the chairman of the Organising Committee for the 2015 Men’s Ice Hockey World Championship in the Czech Republic.

Briza was elected to the IIHF Council in 2016 and is the vice-president of the CIHA.

René Fasel is set to stand down as IIHF President ©Getty Images
René Fasel is set to stand down as IIHF President ©Getty Images

Gontcharov was the general secretary of the BIHA from 2007 to 2011 and led the country's their successful bid for the 2014 World Championship in Minsk.

He was the chief executive of the Lviv 2022 Winter Olympic Games bid and is an advisor to Ukraine’s International Olympic Committee member Sergey Bubka.

Gontcharov rejoined the BIHA in 2014 and became a vice-president in 2016, the same year he joined the IIHF Council.

Tardif is the President of the French Ice Hockey Federation and was the first to hold the position when the organisation launched in 2006.

He had previously served as head of the ice hockey department at the French Ice Sports Federation.

Tardif has been re-elected on three occasions.

The official was the Chef de Mission for France at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, two years after he was elected to the IIHF Council for the first time.

Reindl has led the DEB since 2014.

The German chairs the IIHF's Competition and Coordination Committee, and was chief executive of the IIHF World Championships Germany hosted in 2001, 2010 and 2017.

He appeared at three Olympics and nine IIHF World Championships as a player.

The IIHF Council will consist of the organisation’s President, the new senior vice-president position, the three regional vice-presidents and nine other members.

Of these 14 members, at least two must be male and at least two must be female.

Bach Nielsen, Briza, Gontcharov and Reindl are also standing as candidates to be the IIHF senior vice-president, along with Canada’s Bob Nicholson.

Nicholson is standing for the regional vice-president position in the Americas, with Dave Ogrean of the United States the second candidate.

Kazakhstan’s Gleb Karatayev, Kyrgyzstan’s Aivaz Omorkanov and Hong Kong’s Thomas Wu will seek the regional vice-president position for Asia and Oceania.

All five Presidential candidates are also standing in the regional vice-president election for Europe and Africa.

Saint Petersburg is due to host the IIHF Semi-Annual Congress ©Getty Images
Saint Petersburg is due to host the IIHF Semi-Annual Congress ©Getty Images

Hungary’s Zsuzsanna Kolbenheyer and Marta Zawadzka of Poland are candidates to be female members of the IIHF Council.

Bach Nielsen, Briza, Gontcharov, Reindl and Tardif are standing for the IIHF Council positions.

Candidates also include Russia’s Pavel Bure, Mexico’s Joaquin De La Garma, Italy’s Andrea Gios, Spain’s Frank Gonzalez, Finland’s Heikki Hietanen and Karatayev.

Latvia’s Viesturs Koziols, Sweden's Anders Larsson, Estonia’s Jan Molder, Lithuania’s Petras Nauseda, Ogrean, Switzerland's Raeto Raffainer and Slovakia’s Miroslav Satan complete the list of candidates.

Gios is also standing to be an IIHF auditor, with Switzerland’s Fabio Oetterli and Belgium’s Hub van Grinsven also candidates.

Candidates were nominated by Member Associations and will be subject to vetting checks.

Candidates for the IIHF Council cannot be a paid employee of an IIHF commercial partner or a competitor, while they must declare any equity ownership interest.

The candidates must be aged between 25 and 73 and have five years experience in the sport.

They must not have committed a crime or other action that violates the IIHF code of conduct.

Officials could be nominated for more than one position, but will only be eligible take up a single role.

The Congress will also elect two auditors, the Disciplinary Board, Appeal Board and Ethics Board.

Saint Petersburg is due to host the IIHF Semi-Annual Congress on September 25.