BUDAPEST – IIHF President René Fasel came to Budapest for the opening of the 2011 IIHF World Championship Division I Group A, but also to meet the country’s President, Pal Schmitt.
It’s the first time Fasel and Schmitt met since the latter became President of Hungary in August 2010.
Both share a long friendship. Schmitt won two Olympic gold medals as a fencer during his time as an athlete. He is a member of the International Olympic Committee, same as Fasel, who is also on the IOC’s Executive Board and the Chairman of the Association of International Olympic Winter Sports Federations.
“Schmitt asked Fasel for advice and a strategy to further develop and manage ice hockey in Hungary,” Miklos Nemeth, the President of the Hungarian Ice Hockey Federation, told news agency MTI after the reception at Sandor Palace with Fasel, Schmitt and György Pasztor, the honorary chairman of the Hungarian Ice Hockey Federation.
“We talked with the President of the Republic about the future and present of Hungarian ice hockey, and after that, he signalled that he would like to get a comprehensive strategic plan about the future,” Nemeth said.
Fasel also held the opening speech at the Laszlo Papp Sportarena before the Netherlands-Hungary game.
Meanwhile he has returned to Zurich for the 2011 IIHF World Women’s Championship where he will also open on Friday the first-ever International Women’s Coaching Symposium, one of the IIHF’s new measures to strengthen the development of women’s hockey worldwide.