LAUSANNE, Switzerland, Wednesday, June 4 - The International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) announced on Wednesday that the 2003 FIVB 8th Girls' U18 World Championship will be staged in Poland in August following the withdrawal of Kenya as the hosts of one of international Volleyball's premier youth tournaments.
Kenya had to withdraw from organising this event when it became clear that with two months to go it would not be possible for the event to be organised to the international standards required by the International Volleyball Federation.
Sixteen teams from around the world, including hosts Poland and defending champions China, who won the last tournament held in Croatia in 2001, will participate in the 2003 edition from August 9-17.
"We are very pleased that Poland have been able to take on this important event at short notice and believe that this solution is in the best interest of the development of players at international level," said the FIVB General Manager Mr. Jean-Pierre Seppey. "We also thank Kenya for their efforts to date and hope that we will be able to have such an international event organised there in the not too distant future," he added.
"Poland are ideal hosts for this competition as they have the pedigree and the facilities for hosting such an important tournament following their tremendous effort of hosting the Men's U21 World Championship in 2001," Girls' U18 World Championship project leader Gabrielle van Zwieten said. "They are also particularly strong at the development level so we expect to see some great support from the Volleyball fans in Poland."
The Championship has proven to be an ideal breeding ground for the international women's stars of tomorrow and since its debut in 1989, has provided an opportunity for the volleyball youth to taste genuine international competition for the first time.