THOUGHTS FROM THE NEW FIB PRESIDENT!
Name – Stein Pedersen
Age – 58
Family – Married to Anne Nyfløtt Pedersen. They have their son Marius Nyfløtt Pedersen
Lives in – Oslo
Profession – Employed by the Norwegian Football Association since 1984
Team of the heart – Ullern IF
Fun beside bandy – Golf and cooking
Stein Pedersen was elected new President for FIB at the annual congress in October 2022 in Helsinki, Finland. He succeeds Boris Skrynnik who left the post at his own request.
What made you accept the request to become the new FIB President?
–The most important thing at the Congress in Helsinki was to try to find back to the good relations and good cooperation we have had within FIB and between the different nations for many years. When Boris Skrynnik at the EC-meeting pointed at Norway and me to take the lead in this, supported by the other nations it became impossible to say no to such a mission.
I know that FIB now got a president with great bandy experience. Tell us a little about your active career as a player and leader?
-I was a player at highest level for 18 years, a club team coach for many years and also a team coach for Norway Boys 17 and 19. I have also been board member in the club Ullern IF for some years and finally head of Norwegian Bandy for 11 years.
What do you see as tasks in both the short and long term as the President of FIB?
-In the short perspective to make stability in FIB by focusing on sport instead of politics, secure FIB’s finances, adopt to new geopolitical situation and relaunch international bandy activity, including World Championships and ensure as much sporting activity as possible for both gender and every age group. For the long term I think we should strengthen all of our 27 member nations, increase the number of countries where bandy is played and get bandy into the sport program in the winter Olympics.
Leaders who take on a new assignment often have their own personal ambitions. In which area would you most like FIB to develop?
-I will work for FIB to be a modern and inclusive sports organization with the opportunity for everyone to participate both as athletes and in leading positions. Another very important goal for FIB is to be a part of the sport programme in the Winter Olympics. Strengthening efforts to raise the level of the “smaller” bandy nations must also be a priority.
You mentioned bandy to the Olympics. That has been a very strong ambition for several years. How do you rate the chances of succeeding in that?
-FIB has already documented for IOC that bandy is qualified to be at the Sports Programme in the Winter Olympics. We know that bandy as a team-sport on ice will heighten interest in the Winter Olympics by its participation. The Winter Universiade in Krasnoyarsk in 2019, where the IOC was also present in the Yenisei Stadium, proved this.
Now all international sports are in a difficult and different situation with Russia’s war in Ukraine. What is important for the FIB during this strange period?
-It has been some difficult years for FIB since 2020, with first the pandemic and now the global situation. Despite the difficult time, FIB must ensure that our activities are maintained as far as possible for as many countries as possible.
How is the bandy world going to get back to what everyone wants like exciting championships with all nations in place and not least the very best nations?
-FIB, like everyone else, is affected by the international situation and must deal with it. However, we must have as a goal to bring all the bandy family together as soon as possible.
This presidency has many cultural challenges, countries with completely different political systems and different economic and sporting conditions but still must get along. For example, different economic conditions have developed for organizing championships. For the FIB, it has been important to hold several championships in Russia, where the economic conditions and public interest have been stronger than in the West, where strong sponsors are always needed as the arrangements are usually costly. How do you see the economy going forward?
-We all know that Russia has been important for FIB finances. In any case, FIB must work to try to secure income even during this time without Russia’s participation. FIB created a Working Group to consider new financial model for future competitions, we have to search for new revenue sources and see how we can save costs with effective operation. The most important goal is however to get bandy into the sport programme in the winter Olympics.
It blew up into a real storm before the congress when several member federations acted forcefully to have the sitting president removed. Now the congress became quite calm. Mr Skrynnik saw the problem for both the FIB and himself in this politically difficult situation during the war and left voluntarily. And in several posts, new people were elected. How do you see the outcome of the Congress that became quite calm and constructive?
-We must all thank Boris Skrynnik for the way he solved this difficult matter for the best of international bandy. Boris’ sacrifice opened a constructive and positive way forward for FIB.
Bo Nyman, former General Secretary
The President and the General Secretary are two central positions in FIB. Now both Boris Skrynnik and former General Secretary Bo Nyman are being replaced. Mr Nyman chose to end a long period in that post. Now new persons get into those roles. The Hungarian Attila Adamfi is now appointed as Acting General Secretary. How do you see there being two new leading persons at the same time on those chairs, President and General Secretary?
-I am absolutely sure that Attila with his long and broad experience in international sports is a very good choice for FIB as a GS. We have been working together as Vice Presidents for years now and I see having two new leaders more as an opportunity. The rest of the Executive Committee consists also of skilled people with long experience in the sport of bandy. Additionally, both Boris Skrynnik and Bo Nyman have promised to continue contributing for the best of FIB, says Stein Pedersen at last.
Thank you and best of luck!
Interview: Kjell Anderstedt
THE PRESIDENTS THRU FIB HISTORY
Albert Pomortsev, Staffan Söderlund and Boris Skrynnik. Photo: Tor Audun Sørensen
1955-1963 Gunnar Gahlin, Sweden
1963-1967 Allan Ljungqvist, Finland
1967-1971 Arne Argus, Sweden
1971-1978 Grigory Granaturov, USSR
1978-1983 Pontus Widén, Sweden
1983-1991 Grigory Granaturov, USSR
1991-1993 Carl Fogelberg, Finland
1993-1997 Staffan Söderlund, Sweden
1997-2005 Albert Pomortsev, Russia
2005-2006 Seppo Vaihela, Sweden
2006-2022 Boris Skrynnik, Russia
2022- Stein Pedersen, Norway