The mayors of the cities of Bratislava and Košice Milan Ftáčnik and Richard Raši welcomed representatives of the International Ice Hockey Federation - President René Fasel and General Secretary Horst Lichtner on the last day of the March.
The IIHF heads paid their last visit to Slovakia before the 2011 IIHF World Championship (29.4. – 15.5. 2011) on Thursday. Their first steps led to the Bratislava Orange Arena and subsequently to a meeting with the mayors of the two host cities of Bratislava and Košice. René Fasel was extremely satisfied with the inspection.
"I am very satisfied with the state of preparations given the short time that the organizers had available. I was very impressed in Bratislava by the beautiful arena with its fantastic changing rooms, the training arena with two surfaces and the new neighbouring hotel," said Mr. Fasel.
"We are working on the acceptance procedure for the stadium, we believe that the deadline for the handover of the finished stadium to the Organizing Committee along with the building approval certificate," said the Mayor of Bratislava Milan Ftáčnik after the meeting with René Fasel and Horst Lichtner at the Archbishop’s palace.
from left: Richard Rasi, Rene Fasel, Milan Ftacnik
“ I don’t think there are any causes for worry. We experienced a similar situation with the Saint Petersburg Arena in 2000 when the stairwells and paint were taken care of at the last minute, or three years later in Prague where the championship had to be postponed by a year. If everything in Bratislava can be managed by the agreed date you will still have an extra week,” noted René Fasel.
“Unexpected circumstances can never be ruled out, such as the earthquake in Japan, however Slovakia is not in the type of area where something of that nature is a threat. After the excellent experience with the cooperation with the Slovak Ice Hockey Federation, I believe that Bratislava and Košice will handle everything smoothly and the 2011 IIHF World Championship will be the icing on the cake of our cooperation. The only thing we can not control is the fact that no host team has won the championship since 1986. I would be happy if it were Slovakia who broke this run after 25 years," René Fasel told the hosts at the end of his one-day visit.