FIRS vs. IIHF: intrasigent rivals?
If you got a feelign you have heard something about in-line hockey world championship few days ago and that it had something to do with Sweden, you aren´t wrong – but it was the tournament held by the International ice hockey federation that competes with the FIRS federation.
Both federations were founded long time ago. FIRS was founded in 1924, IIHF wrote the first pages of its history as LIHG in 1908 in Zurich. In-line hockey appeared a bit longer for sure (FIRS 1995, IIHF a year later) but none of the two sides wants to give up its position in this sport.
Telling the truth, in-line hockey is different for both IIHF and FIRS (measurements of the goal, time of the game and some parts of the rules, like off-side). Though they are not identical sports, some common points for discussion could be found. If both sides were interested in... „There have been discussions between FIRS and IIHF, in Dubai at the congress of the Asociation of international sport asociations for the last time. René Fasel, the head of the IIHF, met the FIRS delegates – Italian Sebastian Aracu, director of FIRS, French Gilbert Portier, the head of the FIRS in-line comittee. Some discussions have been held before but it doesn´t seem to be coming close to some agreement. Everything is rooted in the 90´s when two Americans were heads of both federations. They were close in age but they didn´t like each other,“ says Tomas Brezina, member of the FIRS in-line hockey directoriat.
FIRS, organisation accredited by the International olympic commitee, organised its first world championship one year earlier than IIHF, but that doesn´t mean anything in this cause. Some countries have decided not to cooperate with the other side. „We do not have any problem in the Czech republic. We work with both federation, we found a way to, but somewhere else it´s unimaginable. At least now,“ says Tomas Brezina. In-line hockey is the youngest sport of FIRS (after speedskating, figure skating (!) and roller hockey; the former president of the IOC Juan Antonio Samaranch was a national team goalie in roller hockey so it was the exemplary sport at the olympics in Barcelona 1992). „There are countries where two groups of people work on the same or similar thing but under different federation. And in those cases it´s difficult tto find united way,“ Brezina shrugs the shoulders. We can take this cause like the race of Formula 1 and Moto-racing. It´s similar but different...
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18.7. | Closing ceremony
We have added some photos from the medal and closing ceremony.
17.7. | All Stars team
Michael Urbano (USA) - Julien Walker (SUI), Karel Rachunek (CZE), Travis Fudge (USA), Brian Baxter (MEX).
17.7. | Individual awards
MVP: Travis Fudge (USA), Best goalkeeper: Michael Urbano (USA), Best defender: Karel Rachunek (CZE), Best forward: Diego Schwarzenbach (SUI), Fair play award: Team Spain.