— Published 18 March 2022

René Fasel consultant for the KHL

Strange timing. René Fasel, the former president of the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF), is to become a consultant for the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL), the second largest professional league in the world after the North American NHL. In itself, this is not very surprising, as the Swiss leader had hinted that he might join the KHL after the end of his last mandate at the head of the international body. Problem: the KHL is a Russian league, created in Russia in 2008 on the ruins of the former Russian Superliga. Its headquarters are in Moscow. René Fasel, 72, president of the IIHF between 1994 and 2021, will act as a consultant in the strategic management and development of the circuit. “René Fasel has a wealth of experience and is an expert in the world of hockey. The league will actively involve him in solving its strategic and development issues,” the KHL announced in a statement. Fasel’s appointment comes at the worst possible time, as Russian sport has been isolated from the Olympic movement since the start of the invasion of Ukraine. It remains to be seen how the IIHF, now chaired by Frenchman Luc Tardif, will react. René Fasel was appointed honorary president after his last term of office ended.