PRESS RELEASE 05.12.2003


Volleyball on the road to recovery in Iraq

December 05, 2003 - Iraq will be a force again in international Volleyball within two years according to the Director General of the Interim Committee to Administer Sports in Iraq Mr. Tiras Odisho Anwaya.

The FIVB was pleased to welcome Mr. Odisho to their headquarters in Switzerland on Friday on a private visit to Lausanne as he gathers help and support in redeveloping sport in the country since the war on Iraq.

Volleyball was the second most popular sport in Iraq prior to the war and although locals continued to play both Volleyball and Beach Volleyball, the sport is now like other sports in the country, which have to start from scratch to rebuild.

"I believe, with the people who we currently have in charge of Volleyball in Iraq, the country will emerge as a force again in the sport within two years," Mr. Odisho, who played Volleyball himself during his school years, said. "We have former players, with all the business acumen, looking to form an interim federation so it bodes well for Volleyball in Iraq.

"It is a popular sport but it needs to be organised and developed. I'm very happy to be here at the International Volleyball Federation because the people receiving us are concerned and that is encouraging."

The next step for Volleyball's return in Iraq is expected to be taken when the newly appointed operating officers are recognised by the Iraqi sporting authorities.

"We have a slogan right now in Iraq called 'Iraq is back' and with help from all the federations it won't be long before Iraq is back."