BRATISLAVA – The Slovak Ice Hockey Federation has chosen its president for the next four years. Igor Nemecek won the election with 58 votes from the delegates. His challenger, former national team player Richard Lintner, got 45 votes.
Igor Nemecek has been leading the federation for the last four years and earlier worked as the organization’s General Secretary for 12 years. He was first elected as President after the 2011 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship in Slovakia and now earned a second term that will finish after the 2019 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship on home ice in Bratislava and Kosice.
“I am very happy with the result. We are ready to do this job. We have a lot of work in front of us. I hope that we will push Slovak hockey to a higher level in the next four years and earn a profit for our programs from hosting the World Championship in 2019,” said Nemecek after a six-and-a-half-hour long congress.
Igor Nemecek, who is also a member of the IIHF Council, started his first presidential position with great success when the Slovak national team earned the silver medals at the 2012 IIHF Ice Hockey Championship in Helsinki. The second big success for the federation during his presidency was the bronze medal from the recent World Junior Championship in Canada.
“When we started we had a big challenge in front of us. We had to move up in the IIHF World Ranking to qualify for Sochi 2014. From Finland we brought a great silver medal, which wasn´t expected. We have done great work with our juniors, who achieved the bronze medal this year. And now I am thankful that the delegates gave me a chance to carry on to do our job for the next four years,” said Nemecek.
Media gave a lot of attention to this year´s election as Igor Nemecek had a big opponent with the former hockey player and world champion from 2002, Richard Lintner. The 37-year-old, who retired four months ago, came into the battle for presidency with high hopes and support from legendary players such as Peter Bondra and Miroslav Satan. Lintner left very sad after hearing the final result.
“Unfortunately I didn’t get the required majority of the delegates’ voices. Despite that I am sure that our program, which I have prepared with my great team consisting of professionals, is right,” Lintner said after the loss.
The administration under President Nemecek will soon be in the spotlight again when the new national team coach will be announced. The discussions about Vladimir Vujtek’s successor are set to start next week.
Peter Bondra, one of the Lintner’s supporters, is optimistic about the future. “In my active career I performed best under pressure. I hope and I trust Igor Nemecek that he will do the same in his administration in next four years,” Bondra said after the presidential race.
At the General Congress it also became known that Robert Pukalovic will work as new General Secretary starting on 1st July.