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'Kenya and Costa Rica the spice of the Championships' says President Wei

FIVB President Mr. Jizhong Wei joking with Kenya captain Brackcides Khadambi after her side's loss to the Netherlands on Tuesday

Hamamatsu, Japan, November 2, 2010 - Although Kenya lost their fourth straight match in the first round of the 2010 FIVB Women's World Championship in Japan, FIVB President Mr. Jizhong Wei came on to the court after the match to show his support for the African side.

“I came here especially to see the Kenyan team and when I saw their enthusiasm and the spirit they played with against the Netherlands, I insisted on having a photo taken with the team to encourage them to continue their hard work,” President Wei said after the match.

“The World Championship is a mixture between elite and universality, because we can’t have here only the top teams but we should also have teams from the developing continents like Africa and NORCECA to have this balance in a competition comprising 24 teams," he added. "I want also to send a message that the participation of such teams helps their countries to get the governmental support, which is in turn very important to develop the sport in such countries.

“Those kinds of teams participate in such a competition with joy and they reflect this spirit to their countries. I know now all of Africa is following up Kenya happily in these elite events. The most important thing at this stage is participation before the results. I’m happy to see both African representatives Kenya and Algeria here and I am also impressed with the performance of the Costa Rica team from NORCECA. The FIVB should take care of these teams and give them all the required support, and this is what we did practically with Kenya and Costa Rica, as we supported them to have foreign experienced coaches.
“I’m happy also here in Japan to see the TV ratings and I follow up all the matches replayed, which is great for the sport all over the world but at the same time we need to see more spectators attending the matches on the court.”

The FIVB President also declared that the World Championships formula for both men and women will be changed at the next edition, mainly to make the competition more exciting. He also stated that we tend to restrict the matches to only two per court because many found it difficult for supporters to stay in the tribune for eight hours or more following up the matches. “In Italy we succeeded in having two matches in the schedule per day and it revealed positive results in the attendance,” he concluded.

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