Tokyo, Japan, November 1, 2010 – Support for hosts Japan has been predictably strong in Pool A of the 2010 FIVB Women’s World Championship, but the local fans have been joined a large contingent of passionate Peruvians who are regularly heard chanting “Si se puede” (“We can do it”). So far their support has been rewarded as the South American team sit happily in fourth place in the group, still in line for a spot in the second round.
Peru fans are out in strong numbers in Tokyo no matter what the match is
The chant originated at the Eduardo Dibos Collesium in Lima during a qualifying match for the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games. With the hosts 2-0 down to Argentina and seemingly out of contention for an Olympic place, the chant took off and carried the side to a 3-2 (22-25, 21-25, 25-17, 25-19, 15-7) win and a ticket to Sydney.
After that the chant was rarely heard again until the Peruvian fans resurrected it three years ago and now it is a regular feature of all of their matches. "Peruvian Volleyball is on a high right now," Peruvian journalist Benigno Gonzales Villavicencio said. “The crowds are amazing and everyone is getting behind the team, as you can see here at Yoyogi Stadium with some great colours and costumes."
The South Americans were a force to be reckoned with in the 1980s, winning silver at the 1986 World Championships and 1988 Seoul Olympic Games, and it is hoped that this new team will usher in a bright new future for Volleyball in their country. They play Poland next, with victory almost guaranteeing them a spot in the second round for the first time since 1998.