René Fasel's successor as President of the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) is set to be elected in Saint Petersburg in September 2020, he revealed today.
The Swiss, head of the IIHF since succeeding Germany's Günther Sabetzki in June 1994, announced last October that he would step down at the end of his current sixth term when he will be 70.
"The IIHF Congress to elect the organisation’s new President will be held in Saint Petersburg in September 2020," Fasel told Russia's official state news agency TASS in an interview published today.
His 26-year reign will make him the longest serving President of the IIHF, beating the previous record of 25 years set by Belgium's Paul Loicq, although the latter period of his office was disrupted by World War Two.
A new 12-year term limit for all positions within the IIHF, including the President, is among rule changes that was approved at the governing body's Annual Congress in Copenhagen last year and is due to come into effect in 2020.
All Council members will be barred from serving longer than 12 years in a specific single position - be it President, vice-president or member.
As his position as a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is tied to him being President of the IIHF, Fasel will also relinquish that position when he steps down.
He has been a member since 1995.
It will be fitting that Fasel, elected for his most recent term as IIHF President at the Congress in Moscow in 2016, should end his time as leader in Russia.
He has enjoyed a close relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin and was among the most prominent IOC members who criticised the decision to ban the Russian Olympic Committee from Pyeongchang 2018 following allegations of state-sponsored doping.
Competing under the banner Olympic Athletes from Russia, the country still won the gold medal for the first time since the Unified Team claimed the title at Albertville 1992.
As IIHF President, Fasel has also successfully tried to forge a stronger relationship between the world governing body and the National Hockey League (NHL), the major professional ice hockey league of North America.
In March 1995, shortly after being elected, he helped negotiate an agreement so that NHL players could compete at the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano.
They had competed in every subsequent Winter Olympics since until a breakdown in relations meant they missed Pyeongchang 2018.
Fasel is currently attending the IIHF World Championship in Slovakia, where the quarter-finals are due to take place tomorrow.
The tournament has been considered a success so far.
"I am very happy," Fasel told TASS.
"We are in a hockey country, people love hockey here with a lot of great fans.
"The organisation is really going well, the teams and players are very happy and I hope it will continue till the end."