PRESS RELEASE 09.02.2004


European Championships Final Round increased to 16 teams

Paris, France, February 8, 2004 - The Final Round of the Men's and Women's European Championships will be played with 16 teams instead of the usual 12 for the 2006 and 2007 editions. This was one of the major decisions that the Board of Administration of the European Volleyball Confederation (CEV) took during its first 2004 meeting in Paris, France on this weekend.

After the success of the continental championships during the past few years, the CEV formed a special working group to analyze the possibilities to increase the number of teams that will participate in the Final Round.

Under the presidency of CEV President Andre Meyer, the Board of Administration decided to adopt the proposal of the working group to increase the number of teams. Because of this decision, the competition format and qualification system for the 2006-2007 Men's and Women's European Championships will be modified also.

The CEV Board of Administration also decided the venues for the Final Fours of the different European Cup competitions, which will be held in March 2004. The decision for hosts of the Indesit European Champions' League Final Four tournaments was already made last year. The Final Four of the men's event is scheduled for March 27 and 28 2004 in Belgorod, Russia. The best four teams of the women's Indesit European Champions' League will play their Final Four on March 20 and 21 2004 in Tenerife, Spain.

Innsbruck, Austria will host the Final Four of the Men's Austrian Airlines Top Teams Cup on March 13 and 14. During the same weekend, the Final Four of the Women's Top Teams Cup will take place in Bursa, Turkey. On March 6 and 7, the best four teams of the Women's CEV Cup will play their final in Bergamo, Italy. The decision which city will host the Final Four of the Men's CEV Cup will be taken in the next few weeks.