Sergej Gontcharov has published his IIHF Presidential election manifesto ©Sergej Gontcharov

Sergej Gontcharov has targeted expanding the organisation's tournaments and creating new competitions based on existing events such as golf's Ryder Cup in his manifesto for President of the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF).

The German-born Belarusian, a member of the IIHF Council and one of five candidates to replace longstanding incumbent René Fasel, has outlined his vision for the organisation should he be elected to the top job in the September 25 vote.

In his manifesto, entitled "Creating the Future Now", Gontcharov raised the idea of growing the number of teams in the top tier of the IIHF World Championship to 24 and splitting the division into four groups of six.

He also suggests starting talks on the IIHF organising a women's tournament he describes as being a mix of the Ryder Cup, where the United States play a team from Europe, and the Davis Cup, the primary national team competition in men's tennis.

The event would involve a North American squad, as well as the top-ranked team from Europe and a "rest of the world" side.

"Such a special event for women’s hockey would create a positive rivalry that will help push the rest of the world towards collectively narrowing the gap to the North Americans," Gontcharov writes.

Reviving continental tournaments and better marketing the women's game is among the other proposals which Gontcharov claims will allow the IIHF to reach more markets and increase its revenue.

The IIHF Council member has targeted changes to the organisation's competition portfolio if he is elected President ©Sergej Gontcharov
The IIHF Council member has targeted changes to the organisation's competition portfolio if he is elected President ©Sergej Gontcharov

"The re-launch of the full Championship programme is very demanding and poses many risks as we continue facing the consequences of the pandemic and other difficulties," said Gontcharov.

"As such, the immediate focus should remain on responding to the current challenges and day-to-day business."

Gontcharov, a former vice-president and general secretary of the Belarusian Ice Hockey Association, is aiming to create a long-term strategic plan called "Vision 2033" to coincide with the IIHF's 125-year anniversary.

He also touts his experience in the Olympic Movement in his manifesto having served as an advisor to former International Olympic Committee Executive Board member Sergey Bubka and the chief executive of Lviv's bid for the 2022 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games.

"A new era for ice hockey is rapidly approaching," Gontcharov writes. 

"It is the time to choose the next progressive steps for the future of ice hockey, find solutions not only for immediate challenges, but prepare in advance to successfully address challenges that lie further ahead of us and require a pro-active and far-sighted approach. 

"It is an honour for me to contribute to initiating and debating new ideas, concepts and visions."

The election is due to take place during the IIHF's Semi-Annual Congress in Saint Petersburg.

Germany's Franz Reindl, Denmark’s Henrik Bach Nielsen, Petr Briza of the Czech Republic and France’s Luc Tardif are also standing for President.

Gontcharov's full manifesto can be read here..