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Crucial Cuba-Italy showdown named “match of the week”

Lausanne, Switzerland, June 22, 2005 – The top of the table showdown in Pool B between Cuba and Italy in Havana will have fans in living rooms around the world glued to their seats after being selected as the FIVB’s “match of the week” for Round Five.

For the fifth week running, the FIVB will provide a live satellite broadcast of a key World League game and the second match between Cuba and last year’s silver medalists Italy on Sunday 26 June at 00:40 GMT (20:40 p.m. Saturday night local time) in the "Ciudad Deportiva" Coliseum, Havana has plenty riding on it.

Both sides are level on 13 points with five wins and three defeats so if one side manages to do the double this weekend they will take a handy lead going into the final Intercontinental Round next weekend for the race to win the pool and claim the one ticket on offer to the Final Round in Belgrade.
Pic: Cuba and Italy split their matches in Round Two in Italy collecting a 3-1 victory each
Although Cuba are ranked 16th in the world and on paper are expected to find it tough against the world number two, the central Americans have been in dazzling form in this competition with a youthful energetic side entertaining fans around the world. Italy, meanwhile, have been going through a tough rebuilding phase but are starting to show the consistency which netted them the Olympic silver medal and World League runner’s up spot last year. Two victories this weekend would be timely for either side, with only two games remaining after this weekend’s round.

For the Fourth Round of the World League competition last weekend, the FIVB chose to air Brazil’s 3-0 (25-21, 25-20, 25-23) defeat of Portugal in Brasília and it proved to be hugely popular with a potential transmission range of over 100 million households worldwide.

The Pool A showdown became the first World League match to be broadcasted by four Asian (Macau, Vientnam, Mongolia, Sri Lanka) television channels outside of Japan with other new television channels including TV5 Mongolia, VTC Vietnam and TV Sport Romania. It was also the first time that a single World League match of the Intercontinental Round was broadcasted by 12 television channels.

Through 3 July, a "match of the week" will be available on the EBU (European Broadcasting Union) satellite each weekend, so that television networks throughout the world can broadcast an eagerly-awaited match.

Interested TV networks may acquire broadcasting rights to the match by contacting Sports TV Media Distribution in Klagenfurt, Austria (tel. +43 463 90 8000; +43 676 848 606 220; +43 676 848 606 217; fax +43 463 90 8000 99; e-mail:
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