DEB President Franz Rindl: “I was practically born with ice skates”

DEB President Franz Rindl: "I was practically born with ice skates"

AZ Interview with Franz Rindl: The 66-year-old DEB president is running as the head of the World Ice Hockey Federation.

AZ: Mr. Reindl, next weekend all elections will be held. It is not the only International Ice Hockey Federation of IIHF where you are running for the presidency. The German Bundestag is also elected. Have you made your cross yet?
Franz Reindl: I used the written option because I will be in St. Petersburg on Sunday.

who did you vote for?
This is a secret vote and I want to leave it here.

A forward-looking decision will also be taken along with the IIHF elections. Like Angela Merkel from Chancellery, puck boss Ren Fassel is leaving after 27 years, more precisely after a long time. What’s the most important thing he leaves?
The work he did and how the world federation developed during his time was phenomenal. He prepared the ground for a positive future. Of course, great challenges await us.

Also in the pandemic: “The world union must act in the interest of its members”

The pandemic has a huge impact on all sectors: sports, organizational and even economic. The world union should act in the interest of its members. The IIHF has 81 member states with different needs. Everyone has to find a solution. I’m a fan of coordination and long-term planning. In the German Ice Hockey Federation, we have advanced ice hockey with the “Powerplay 26” program.

Does this development help you?
Of course, voters watch: what have they achieved nationally? And can he do it internationally? The development of German ice hockey is great. It’s often referred to as mine, but we did it together. For me it is a big plus that we have moved from 13th to 5th in the world rankings. We are the best ranked federation in Germany even before football – who would have thought seven years ago?

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So German star Leone Draistel is an electoral aid.
Leon is 100 percent electoral aid! He also supported me with a statement. It made me fall from my stool. Marco Sturm too. I got emotional then too. But: It’s good to feel, just choose not to feel.

Rindle: “I can contribute my expertise and bring together cultural prerequisites”

why are you running?
I’ve been in the ice hockey business for a long time. I was practically born with ice skates. As a player, I was lucky to have good teams, whether it was a bronze medal in the 1976 Olympics or the league. I worked as a coach in my hometown of Garmish. I have always seen myself as a manager more than a coach. Whether in the German Ice Hockey League or the German Ice Hockey Federation. Ice hockey has given me a lot. The IIHF President’s Office is attractive, but it is also a service I want to sport. I can contribute my expertise and bring together cultural needs.

Out of the five candidates you are supposed to be the savior of the back path – right?
I am a loyal person, longing for stability and consistency. What is good should be kept, if something has to be changed then it should be changed.

The IIHF was criticized because it wanted to forgo the World Cup in Belarus for a long time. IIHF Position: Keep politics out of sports. Are you sure you can separate sports and politics?
You can no longer watch the sport in isolation at such large events. Of course, one also has to take into account the political situation. When contracts are made, it becomes difficult.

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And getting out is expensive, as is the case with Belarus.
Yes, it was expensive. to which Mr. Lukashenko (Belarus’ head of state; editor) was already in position when the 2021 World Cup venue was voted on. Latvia (which later demanded the withdrawal of the World Cup from Belarus; editor) was also in favor of a joint World Cup, including the politics there. So you have to expand the fundamentals for applications, for example to include the issue of human rights.

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Rindle: IHF election is not a fight against competitors

Can the election campaign of the IIHF leadership be compared to a federal election?
I don’t think so. I am not fighting anyone, I am fighting for the position. I won’t even say bad things about a contestant or go out of my way to get votes. This is not good. Stick to your vote – I will be happy if I am elected. Otherwise, I will continue to contribute in any role. I see a lot of growth opportunities for ice hockey, especially in Europe.

China is seen as the winter sports country of the future.
With China, I could throw numbers around. Along with the infrastructure, 30 crore winter sports enthusiasts have to be prepared here. That would be great, it’s clear – and some things have already been started for the 2022 Games. But why just wander into the distance? There are opportunities in the Balkans. There is also potential in women’s sports. We just had a great World Cup in Canada. Honor for achievements.

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What’s in store for ice hockey in the face of climate change?
It gives a tough competition to ice sports and ice hockey in particular. Ice hockey needs ice. But with new options like rooftop solar and energetic technology, we’re going to find good indoor options. It is important that people move, especially children. In ice hockey the smaller ice surface helps – ie 240 square meters less.

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