Lausanne, Switzerland, January 31, 2014 - The Organising Committee for the FIVB Volleyball Men's World Championship Poland 2014 has released the tournament's first round calendar following the conclusion of the Drawing of Lots at Warsaw’s Palace of Culture and Science on Monday.
Current world champions, Brazil will begin the bid for their fourth successive World Championship title on September 1 when they take on Germany in a pool B match in Katowice. Olympic champions and 2013 World League winners, Russia will also play their first match on the same day in Gdansk, against the NORCECA representative in Group C.
As announced at the Drawing of Lots ceremony on Monday, Poland will host Serbia at Warsaw's National Stadium in a dream opening match on August 30. This will be the first time that the FIVB Volleyball World Championships will return to an open stadium after more than sixty years. Moscow 1952 was the last time the FIVB Volleyball World Championships featured matches played in an open stadium.
Following the opening match in Walsaw, Pool A will continue with Venezuela against Argentina and Australia taking on CAVB 3 on August 31. Pool D will also start on the same day with three-time champions Italy opening their campaign against Iran, Belgium playing NORCECA 1 and France taking on NORCECA 4.
Specific match times will be confirmed at a later date while the NORCECA and CAVB teams will be determined once their respective qualification processes are complete with the highest qualified teams from those confederations in the world rankings filling the vacancies.
To date 16 of 24 teams have qualified for the FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Championship Poland 2014.
The Asian, South American and European confederations have completed their qualification processes, with one of the European spots reserved for hosts, Poland. Only the African Confederation and NORCECA have still to determine the countries that will participate in the tournament.
On the African continent, tournaments will take place in Kenya (February 5 to 11), Cameroon (February 12 to 18) and Tunisia (March 2 to 8).
Each will feature five teams with one ticket per tournament on offer to the World Championship. The NORCECA confederation will hold four qualifying tournaments (each with four teams) scheduled to take place in Cuba (May 12 to 18), USA (May 13 to 19), Canada (May 14 to 20) and Puerto Rico (May 20 to 26). The FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Championship Poland 2014 NORCECA Playoff will take place either in Mexico or Puerto Rico from July 14 to 20 and will determine the last of the five NORCECA teams to book their place at the World Championships this year.
The second round of the tournament will take place from September 10 to 14 with group E in Lodz and Bydgoszck and F matches in Katowice and Wroclaw. The final six teams will battle it out on the courts during the third round in Krakow and Lodz from September 16 to 18.
The top two teams from each third round pool will then advance to the semifinals and finals in Katowice on September 20 and 21 with - in the only difference to the FIVB Volleyball Women's World Championship Italy 2014 competition formula - the third ranked teams in the third round pools also playing off for fifth place.
The men’s and women FIVB Volleyball World Championships are staged every four years and are the most prestigious event in international volleyball.
Brazil sealed their third straight FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Championship title in Italy in 2010 after beating Cuba in the final. Serbia completed the podium after beating the home side in the bronze medal match.
The world’s best 24 teams will compete in the FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Championship Poland 2014, which will take place from August 30 to September 21.