Bratislava, June 17 (TASR) – Igor Nemecek was replaced as president of the Slovak Ice Hockey Association (SZLH) by Martin Kohut at an extraordinary SZLH congress on Thursday, with the secret ballot taking place late at night.
Kohut has been involved with Slovak ice hockey since 2007, when he began sponsoring the senior national team. He was at the helm of an IT company for 15 years, later becoming its vice-president for Europe. Kohut entered SZLH structures last year, after being selected by then freshly re-elected association president Nemecek to serve on the seven-member executive committee and tasked mainly with marketing and economic issues. For example, he’s now credited with improving SZLH’s financial situation and its economic stabilisation.
Ahead of the vote Kohut received the backing of several former top players, including Richard Lintner, Lubomir Visnovsky and Miroslav Satan, the last of whom is now expected to become the national team general manager.
Kohut was running against former long-term official from HK Poprad club and his colleague from the SZLH Executive Committee Tibor Turan, who was supported by another former star Zigmund Pallfy and veteran player Jozef Stumpel.
The new Executive Committee will feature eleven members. Apart from the association president it will include a representative of players – Stumpel, and a representative of the national team – Robert Svehla, for example.
Immediately after the vote results were announced, Turan ruled out cooperation with Kohut. “In no case will I cooperate with Mr. Kohut, I’ve personal reasons for this,” said Turan, describing Kohut as a populist and pointing out that he doesn’t come from an ice hockey environment, meaning that he doesn’t understand the sport properly.