Casablanca, Morocco, July 5, 2007 – Two matches between Russia and Brazil (Rabat) and Italy against Cuba (Casablanca) will provide special excitement to the opening day of the 14th FIVB Men's Junior World Championship in Morocco on Saturday.
Russia, defending champion and seven-time title winner, will be one of the favourites in Pool B along with South American champion Brazil, who finished second in 2001 and 2003. This match will be a repetition of the final game for the gold medal against this two teams, played in India two years ago. In Pool A, Cuba, bronze medalist in India 2005, will face Italy, who finished 13th in its last participation in 2003.
The other two matches in Pool A will be Bulgaria against Iran and host Morocco against Japan, meanwhile in Pool B, Slovenia will debut facing Argentina and USA will play Egypt. Bulgaria won the bronze medal in 2003 and Iran finished 5th in the last event in 2005.
The group round-robin preliminaries between the 12 teams will be played from July 7-11 with a Round Robin system to determine the ranking and will be classified from 1st to 6th. The Semi Finals and play offs rounds consists of a total of 6 matches to be played on July 14 and the Finals and play offs for the gold medal, will be played on July 15.
Mr. Vicente Araujo and Mr. Yuri Chesnokov, FIVB authorities, will lead the Control Committee in Casablanca and Rabat, respectively, and also will conduct the Preliminary Enquiry with the teams this afternoon. They have the strong support of Mr. Abdelhadi Ghzali, President of the Moroccan Volleyball Federation and of the National Organising Committee. The General Technical Meeting will take place on Friday evening.
The 2007 Men's Junior Worldchampionship is one of the more powerful FIVB's events, which is a smart preview of the next 2010 Men's Worldchampionship in Italy. Some of the best players in Morocco will be probably among the 12 of many teams in Rome. The same fierce competition as displayed by senior teams is guaranteed to animate the young Volleyball elite as this biennial Junior World Championship is a unique occassion for them to showcase their talent on the international stage.