Lausanne, Switzerland, May 6, 2003 - Argentina has been dropped from the 2003 World League and is being replaced by Czech Republic, while China has agreed to withdraw to be replaced by Bulgaria, the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) has announced at their Swiss headquarters during the FIVB's Board of Administration meeting being held from Sunday to Tuesday.
Argentina is prevented from playing due to their national federation being suspended from the international governing body following their inability to elect office bearers in accordance with the FIVB constitution.
China's agreement to withdraw from this year's edition comes in the wake of the SARS epidemic. World League participants play home and away matches during the Intercontinental Round of the competition and China's withdrawal allows for the entry of Bulgaria to this prestigious annual event.
The shakeup reshuffles the cards and pits Czech Republic against France, Greece and Japan in Pool D while Bulgaria meets Serbia and Montenegro, Netherlands and Cuba in Pool C .
The $15 Million World League, the sport's richest tournament and now in its 14th edition, pits 16 elite men's national teams against each other in six gripping weeks of Intercontinental Rounds, after which the top eight contest the finals, this year in the Spanish capital Madrid.
Russia is the ruling champion, while Brazil and Yugoslavia (now Serbia and Montenegro) took the minor places in last years final in Brazil.