133rd IIHF Congress opened

First time hockey community gathers following tragic off-season


IIHF President René Fasel opened the 133rd congress in Istanbul on Thursday morning. Picture of Lokomotiv team in the background. Photo: Tuula Puputti

ISTANBUL – President René Fasel opened the 133rd Congress of the IIHF with an emotional speech (Video) honoring the victims of the September 7 air crash in Yaroslavl. The congress is the first time the international hockey community gathers following the tragedy.

"This – the darkest day in the history of our sport – is a tragedy which involved many of our member nations," said Fasel.

"The victims were from Russia, Belarus, Latvia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Canada, Czech Republic, Germany, Slovakia and Sweden, altogether 10 countries. Many of the players and coaches had made outstanding contributions to the international game. Others had the bright future before them."

"I was in Yaroslavl for the memorial services 12 days ago and I cannot describe in words the emotions you feel when seeing more than 20 caskets in a hockey arena. Just a few days earlier they were hopeful and enthusiastic to finally start the regular season and in one single moment everything was crushed and taken away."

During his opening address, Fasel also paid respect to NHL-players Wade Belak, Derek Boogaard and Rick Rypien, who all passed away this summer.

"We are still not entirely sure about the reasons and backgrounds and to what degree their deaths were linked to hockey, but it is clear that everyone who deals with our sport, federations, associations and leagues must pay more attention to life outside of the game and also to the difficult and underappreciated challenges that face players after retirement," said the IIHF President.

The congress week started with council (board) meetings on Monday and Tuesday, while the congress will take place Thursday and Friday. Most of the 70 IIHF Member National Associations are present, including the most current member Kyrgyzstan.

Among the nineteen points on the agenda, there is a proposal for new Player Agent Label Guidelines, subject to approval by congress.

Congress Updates:

It was announced that Denmark, France, Germany and Latvia are applicants for the 2017 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championships. The congress furthermore decided that the allocation voting for WM 2017 will be postponed to the 2013 Annual Congress in Stockholm, Sweden.

Completion (in bold) of remaining IIHF World Championship allocations:

2012 IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship Division I Group A
Venue: Ventspils, Latvia
Dates: 25-31 March 2012
Participants: Japan, Kazakhstan, Norway, Latvia, Austria, Czech Republic

2012 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 Women’s World Championship Division I
Venue: Norway (city TBA)
Dates: TBA (January 2012)
Participants: Japan, Slovakia, Austria, Norway, Qualifier 1, Qualifier 2.

2012 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 Women’s World Championship Division I Qualification
Venue: Asiago, Italy
Dates: 29 November-5 December 2011
Participants: France, Kazakhstan, Great Britain, Hungary, Italy, China.

Israel and Ireland have withdrawn from the 2012 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championship Division III Group B in Erzurum, Turkey. The IIHF Council will decide how to organize qualification to Group A between the remaining participants, Turkey and Mongolia.

The teams and age groups were announced for the inaugural Youth Olympic Winter Games, Innsbruck, Austria, 12-22 January, 2012.

Boys, born -96: Canada, Finland, USA, Russia, Austria (host)
Girls, born -94: Sweden, Slovakia, Germany, Kazakhstan, Austria (host) 

By IIHF.com staff



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