Outgoing Belgium Hockey president Marc Coudron says the pandemic revaluated his desire to go for the top job in world hockey.

Coudron, a former 358-cap international with the Red Lions, will go head-to-head with current president Narinder Batra for the key International Hockey Federation (FIH) post in May’s elections.

The FIH Congress was due to be held late last year before the pandemic set in and the Delhi rejig was enough time for Coudron, who in June steps down after 15 years at the helm of Hockey Belgium, to be the sole European challenger against Batra, who is hoping to hold on to this seat.

“I feel ready to bring my experience to the global level,” Coudron told Belgian media. “I want to fight for the values of respect, integrity, sustainability and inclusion in our sport on a global level, fills me with energy.”

Coudron, 51, revealed he had been in contact with Dr Batra to outline his intentions to run for presidency. He added: “I told him that I had nothing against him but that I did not have the same approach or the same ambitions concerning the development of the FIH. There is still a long way to go.”

In a few months, Coudron could beat his timeframe prediction that the Red Lions will become Euro, world and Olympic champions by 2024. Belgium men will head to Tokyo as favourites to land the Olympic title.

By then he could also be voted in as FIH president.

Over the coming weeks the Belgian candidate will attempt to outline his vision to the FIH nations ahead of congress, which will include “putting players, clubs and federations back at the heart of the system.”

He added: “Once the pandemic is behind us, we will witness a massive return to hockey as it is to other sports, and we will have to help the various federations to support their members. I will not make empty promises.

“I will listen carefully and ask many questions. I will explain my vision and I will focus on the needs of different countries.”

Last year, some European clubs were fearful over the way that world hockey was being run and the monoploy of junior and senior tournaments being held in India.