MOSCOW, December 17. /TASS, Andrey Kartashov/. Rene Fasel, president of the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF), told TASS it was possible that he would be working in Russia once he steps down from his post next September.
Fasel first revealed his intention not to run for another presidential term in November 2017, and in October 2018, he confirmed to TASS that he would vacate the post after the IIHF Congress elects a new president in September 2020.
The 69-year-old Fasel’s current presidential term officially expires in May 2020, but his mandate is valid until the election. The Swiss-born former dentist with a gift for languages and a deep passion for ice hockey was first elected to run the world’s governing body of this sport in June 1994. He was re-elected for a sixth presidential term at the 2016 IIHF General Congress in Moscow.
Asked by a TASS correspondent if it was possible that Fasel would get onboard with the Russia-based Kontinental Hockey League (KHL), the IIHF president answered in Russian "Posmotrim [We will see]."
"I have many opportunities, I have some experience and I am sure if people need me to help, then I am ready to help," Fasel said in an interview with TASS. "I love your country so it would be a really great pleasure to come here and help you."
The IIHF president also said he received job offers from China to help the country with the development of ice hockey.
"The [Chinese] sport minister told me ‘Rene, you should come to China to work for the Olympics and Chinese hockey’," Fasel said. "I said ‘No, maybe I would like to go to Russia.’ He said ‘No, why Russia? They know how to play ice hockey, you should come to us’."
"We will see. Now I am president here [the IIHF], I have to finish my mandate and then ‘posmotrim’ [in Russian: we will see]," Fasel added about his possible move to work with Russia’s KHL.
The Kontinental Hockey League was founded in Russia in 2008 and currently lists 24 professional ice hockey clubs from Russia, Belarus, China, Finland, Kazakhstan and Latvia.
International experts deem the KHL as the premier ice hockey league in Europe and Asia ranking it as the world’s second most important, right on the heels of the US-based NHL (National Hockey League).
KHL President Dmitry Chernyshenko announced in September that the league had chalked up 3.6 billion rubles (over $57.5 million) in revenue for the 2018/2019 season.