PRESS RELEASE 01.10.2003


FIVB World Cups - Japan November 2003 Wild Cards announced for first Olympic qualifier; teams now complete

Lausanne, Switzerland, October 1, 2003 - The International Volleyball Federation on Wednesday announced the allocation of two wild cards for each of the Men's and Women's World Cup tournament to take place in Japan in November. The top three teams qualify directly for the Athens 2004 Olympic tournament.

In the women's tournament Italy and Dominican Republic were granted the wild card entries to complete the 12 competing teams, and in the men's tournament they went to Serbia and Montenegro and Egypt. The awarding of wild cards was made jointly by the FIVB and hosts of the World Cup tournaments, the Japan Volleyball Federation.

"The inclusion of Italy, as women's World Champions and Serbia and Montenegro as men's Olympic champions will add lustre to this prestigious event, while Dominican Republic, the Pan American champion has been continually attracting attention in international women's competition," President Rubén Acosta said, adding that the inclusion of Egypt, as African Vice-champions, was an important initiative because all other four continental vice-champions were automatic qualifiers. "This also respects the principle of universal participation and will help to further promote Volleyball on the African continent," President Acosta said.

This quadrennial competition matches the continental champions and vice champions of Asia, Europe, Norceca (North and Central America) and South America, plus the African champion and hosts Japan to comprise 10 teams, with the wild cards completing the 12 team competition.

Women's teams already qualified are: Japan, Brazil, Argentina, Egypt, USA, Cuba, China, Korea, Poland and Turkey.

Men's teams are: Japan, Korea, China, Italy, France, Brazil, Venezuela, Tunisia, USA and Canada.

The Drawing of Lots will take place on Friday October 3, 2003 in Tokyo.

Go to www.fivb.org on Friday for live Drawing of Lots info