alt SPAIN'S Leandro Negre (pictured) has replaced Els van Breda Vriesman as the new president of the International Hockey Federation (IHF).


Negre, who was the president of the European Hockey Federation, will hold the office for a term of four years.

Negre defeated Vriesman, the Dutch International Olympic Committee (IOC) member who had been at the helm since 2001, at the IHF Congress in Los Angeles.


The meeting was attended by a total of 89 National Associations.


The 62-year-old Negre is credited with helping create the Euro Hockey League.


In his election campaign he promised to create a World Cup for club teams and build a stronger identity for the world championship.

Negre said: "I am very happy to be elected and I would like to thank the National Associations for voting for me.


"I would also like to thank Els van Breda Vriesman for the excellent work she did for hockey."


Negre said he would offer himself as a candidate for election to the IOC next year, competing against presidents of other international federations.


He played for Spain as a goalkeeper at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics and served on the committee organising the 1992 Barcelona Games.


Negre is the second Spaniard to be elected to a senior international position in recent days.


Last month Marisol Casado was appointed as the new president of the International Triathlon Union.


The FIH also welcomed five new National Associations - Mongolia, Qatar, Togo, Vanuatu and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia - during its Congress to take the number of member countries to 127.