Countdown launched in Rome for 2018 World Championship
The announcement of the World Championship host cities was made in Rome's Palazzo Poli on Thursday
The venue for the launching of the countdown leading to the great event of 2018, Rome's Palazzo Poli - the stunning backdrop of the Eternal City's famous Fontana di Trevi - is truly worthy of the historic locations in Italy and Bulgaria that will host the matches of the World Championship.
It is the first time the FIVB's flagship event is jointly hosted by two countries. Pool play will be in the Bulgarian cities of Sofia, Varna, and Ruse and the Italian cities of Bari, Bologna, Florence, Milan and Rome, before the top teams arrive in Turin for the finals.
"By having joint organisers we are giving two passionate fan bases the opportunity to cheer on their national team in their own countries which will help develop the sport," pointed out FIVB President Dr. Ary S. Graca F° in his message to the attendees of the Palazzo Poli event. "It is always a great honour for me to see enthusiastic crowds around the world enjoying volleyball, and at next year’s event it will be no different."
The Press Conference at the Palazzo Poli was also attended by FIVB Vice-President Aleksandar Boricic, Italian Volleyball Federation (FIPAV) President Pietro Bruno Cattaneo, Organising Committee President Carlo Salvatori, Italian Minister of Sports Luca Lotti and Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) President Giovanni Malago.
The Bulgarian side were represented by the President of the Bulgarian Volleyball Federation Dancho Lazarov and the country's Minister of Sports Krasen Kralev.
19 down, 5 to go
Nineteen teams have already secured their spots in the 2018 FIVB World Championship, with five more tickets still to be distributed.
Hosts Italy and Bulgaria and defending champions Poland qualified directly to the World Championship. They are joined by France, The Netherlands, Slovenia, Russia, Serbia, Finland and Belgium from Europe; Japan, Australia, Iran and China from Asia; Brazil and Argentina from South America; and USA, Dominican Republic and Canada from North & Central America and the Caribbean (NORCECA) - all of which came through continental qualifiying procedures.
Two more teams from NORCECA will advance from a special qualification tournament set up following the inabilty of Cuba and Puerto Rico to travel to USA for the regular continental qualifiers in the wake of hurricanes Irma and Maria.
The last three tickets will be punched in Cairo at the African Nations Championship from which the top three advance to the World Championship.
Quick links - Volleyball:
FIVB Volleyball Men's World Championship 2018
FIVB Volleyball Women's World Championship 2018
FIVB.com - Volleyball
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