IIHF President Luc Tardif was elected as René Fasel's replacement at the IIHF Presidential election on September 25 ©Getty Images

The new International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) President has put his election down to a "desire for change," and has said "we need diplomacy" to help bring balance to the sport globally.

In an interview with insidethegames prior to the election on September 25, Tardif vowed to approach the Presidency in "a diplomatic way" were he to be successful to help balance between larger ice hockey nations and those where the sport is developing.

After topping all four rounds of voting and beating Germany's Franz Reindl with 67 votes to 39 in the final round, Tardif, who replaces former IIHF President René Fasel since 1994, doubled down on his pledge.

"I think he [Fasel] was a little surprised at this turn of events," Tardif told FrancsJeux.

"I am even sure of it.

"He saw a desire for change being expressed by the federations.

"The IIHF is in very good health, especially financially, the foundations are solid.

"But with now 80 member federations, an imbalance has arisen between the large nations and the smaller ones.

"Now we need diplomacy."

René Fasel stepped down as IIHF President, having held the role since 1994 ©Getty Images
René Fasel stepped down as IIHF President, having held the role since 1994 ©Getty Images

The French Ice Hockey Federation (FFHG) President was the last of the five candidates to announce his intention to run for the top position in the IIHF, and explained that the time spent speaking to the majority of member national associations (MNAs) virtually helped him to shape what he felt was a strong manifesto.

"Talking for one hour 30 minutes with people face to face, even in virtual mode, is quite rare," he said.

"In such a context, people speak more easily than in a Congress.

"All of this allowed me to build my programme, which I had built from my own convictions.

"I called this phase of my campaign the co-construction process.

"I published my programme very late, September 7, for an election scheduled for September 25 of the same month.

"But I knew it stuck to a certain reality.

"Next, we had to convince.

"People wanted a change.

"A dynamic has been created.

"But this victory is also the work of a whole team."

Tardif beat Franz Reindl in the final round of voting to become IIHF President ©Franz Reindl
Tardif beat Franz Reindl in the final round of voting to become IIHF President ©Franz Reindl

Tardif told insidethegames earlier this month that he and his fellow candidates "already made some decisions together about after the election," and repeated his vow to work inclusively as President.

"On Saturday evening, after the election, we held a first meeting of the Executive Committee," he said.

"It has been renewed by half.

"With the other four candidates, we had decided on a sort of pact to put us in working order as soon as the election was over, regardless of who won the ballot.

"There are many issues: the Beijing Games, the appointment of Committees, the appointment of a new secretary general.

"There is no time to waste."

The new President said that attention now turned to preparations for Beijing 2022 and finalising the agreement with relevant parties to secure the presence of players from North America's National Hockey League (NHL).

There has already been a major incident during Tardif's Presidency as he condemned "in the strongest possible terms" a racist gesture by Ukrainian player Andri Denyskin towards a black American opponent in Jalen Smereck.

Tardif added: "There is no place for such a blatantly racist and unsportsmanlike gesture in our sport and in society.

"This a direct assault on the ideals and values of our game, and we will ensure that all necessary ethics violation investigations occur to ensure that this behaviour is sanctioned appropriately."