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IIHF chief Fasel says planning to take Russian language lessons after his resignation

Rene Fasel noted that everyone knew how much he loved Russia and the Russian people

ST. PETERSBURG, September 24. /TASS/. President of the International Ice Hockey Federation Rene Fasel said on Friday he intended to take a course in the Russian language after he resigns from his post.

A new president of the world’s governing ice hockey body is set to be elected at the IIHF Congress in Russia’s second-largest city of St. Petersburg on September 25. A newly-elected IIHF president will replace Fasel, who held this office for 27 years.

Speaking to journalists on Friday, Fasel said he intended to go to Moscow and attend a Russian school to take a number of lessons to study the language, because it would be much easier staying in the country and watching local television channels.

The IIHF chief added he was not happy with the lack of time to study the Russian language thoroughly and everyone knows how much he loves Russia and the Russian people.

IIHF President Rene Fasel

Rene Fasel, 71, 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. However, the IIHF Congress was moved to a later date due to the global spread of the novel coronavirus.

Fasel’s current presidential term officially expired in May 2020, but his mandate is valid until the next election, which is scheduled to be held at the IIHF Congress in September this year in Russia’s second-largest city of Saint Petersburg.

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.