Ernest Aljancic oversaw Slovenian ice hockey as President of the Ice Hockey Federation of Slovenia for nine years ©Getty Images

Ernest Aljancic, former President of the Ice Hockey Federation of Slovenia (HZS) and an International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) life member, has died at the age of 77.

The Slovenian died as a result of a longstanding health issue, as reported by Delo.

Aljancic was HZS President from 1997 until 2006.

He went back for one season, 2009-2010, when the HZS was in financial difficulty.

Under his Presidency, the newly-independent nation moved up the rankings and played in the top division of the IIHF World Championship for the first time in 2002, and participated at that level in four out of five years between 2002 and 2006.

Aljancic was an IIHF Council member between 2003 and 2012, having been elected in 2003 and re-elected in 2008 by the IIHF General Congress.

In 2012 he was named a life member of the organisation.

Aljancic was also active within various IIHF committees, starting with his appointment to the Marketing Committee in 1998.

Born in 1945 in Slovenia's capital, Ljubljana, to Ernest Aljancic Sr, who was a pioneer of ice hockey in the country and played for Yugoslavia, the younger Aljancic devoted his life to ice hockey, playing for Olimpija Ljubljana and the Yugoslav national team before moving to the administrative side.

He was also an Executive Committee member of the Olympic Committee of Slovenia.