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President Graça's message: Looking ahead to 2018

Lausanne, Switzerland, January 3, 2018 -The new year will be a very exciting time for all volleyball fans. It represents a revolutionary change for the whole FIVB family as the inaugural seasons of the Volleyball Nations League and Challenger Cup get underway.

The innovative sports presentation that was first showcased at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games will be used throughout these new competitions. In the Volleyball Nations League, there will be a fierce battle between 16 world class teams for each gender. More than 35 cities and 20 countries will host the tournament, bringing the live action closer to volleyball fans globally. The Challenger Cup will also include teams from all over the world, and the winner will get the opportunity, via a play-off, to secure their place in the 2019 edition of the Volleyball Nations League.

Working together, we are continuing to push the boundaries of technology, innovation and digital broadcasting. The Volleyball Nations League will offer fantastic new angles and replays. Spectators at home will witness the elite athleticism of each nation’s best players. Volleyball is a newcomer in this presentation format but you will see quickly the great difference with your own eyes.

The FIVB is working closely with IMG to take complete control of content production for the first time. This allows us to highlight the greatest moments and promote a compelling, on-court narrative, encouraging fans to engage with, and celebrate, the amazing points in each match. The excellence on court will be matched by the quality off it.

This is a very exciting project for all of us and we can’t wait to share it with you! As well as the Volleyball Nations League and Challenger Cup, we also look forward to the 2018 FIVB Volleyball World Championships. This year’s men’s edition will be jointly hosted by Bulgaria and Italy while the women’s tournament will take place in cities throughout Japan. Both are sure to be great contests.

The 2018 Beach Volleyball calendar continues to grow and will provide more opportunities for fans to witness incredible live sporting moments than ever before. The competition will be extremely strong and with the FIVB World Tour Finals, the U19 Beach Volleyball World Championships and four 5* World Tour events, we will see another fantastic year for the sport.

It is a pivotal time for the FIVB as the Executive Committee has approved plans to push forward with a brand new digital transformation project for 2018, ensuring that fan experience remains the key driver in our vision to become the world’s number one family sport. The digital transformation is not only irreversible and unavoidable, but essential in helping us grow.

In every competition our athletes deliver great performances and demonstrate the value of teamwork in pursuit of becoming champions. In volleyball, unlike any other team sport, no individual can score without the direct involvement of their team mates; teamwork is essential. It is the same for us at the FIVB and all National Federations; we must all work together to ensure the greatest chance of success.

It is my hope for 2018 that the FIVB continues to look forward, moving from strength to strength as we lead by example. Let’s commit fully, connect always, play smart and aim higher!

On behalf of the FIVB and entire volleyball family, I wish all of you the very best for 2018.

FIVB President Dr. Ary S. Graça F°

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