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Countdown to 2008 FIVB World League: 'Match of the Week' Brazil vs. Serbia and China vs. Japan stand out ahead of first weekend of Intercontinental Rounds

Serbia's Ivan Miljkovic spikes against Russia during the 2007 FIVB World League

Lausanne, June 6, 2008 – The final countdown to the beginning of the 2008 FIVB World League has begun, with less than one week to go until the Intercontinental Rounds of Volleyball’s flagship annual event get underway.

There are huge clashes on the first weekend of action, with the likes of world No. 1 Brazil taking on the mighty Serbia in Sao Paulo in the first of six FIVB “Match of the Weeks,” while China host Asian rivals Japan in Hangzhou, the host city changing from Chengdu after the devastating earthquake in May that hit the region.

The 2008 edition will involve 16 National Teams playing 96 matches over six consecutive weekends in 41 cities across the globe, with the world’s best Men’s players competing for more than USD 20 million in Prize Money.

The six Intercontinental Rounds begin the weekend of June 13-15 and end the weekend of July 18-20. The teams are divided into four pools, with each team playing their pool opponents twice over a weekend both home and away.

In other action on the first weekend, Venezuela host France, Cuba are at home to Italy, Russia travel to Korea, Bulgaria faces Spain at home, Finland host USA and Egypt take on Poland at home.

The "Match of the Week," which is free for use by television channels, is available to the World League's valued Host Broadcasters and other TV channels on each weekend of Intercontinental Round action and is a successful way of introducing the World League to TV viewers. TV channels interested in finding out about broadcasting a "Match of the Week" free of charge are requested to contact the FIVB at
for further information.

In other World League news, the Final Round, to be played in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, through July 23-27 is now open for press accreditation applications, with the application form available on the official FIVB website at

The Finals will see Brazil as organizing country, the winners of each pool and a wild card chosen by the FIVB from the best second-ranked teams in the Intercontinental Rounds playing a total of 10 matches.

Brazil are looking for their sixth-straight World League triumph. If Brazil finish top of their pool, the second-ranked team will advance to the Final Round.

Another success for the Brazilians would mean they match Italy for most World League victories with eight. Italy and Brazil are the only teams to compete in all 18 editions of competition up to 2007.

Among those standing in the South American team’s way are Russia, silver medallists in 2007 and winners in 2002, and USA, who claimed bronze last year.

The World League, started by the FIVB in 1990, is a spectacular showcase for the crème de la crème of Men's Volleyball. The total attendance for the 2007 edition was 637,000 fans with total TV coverage of 2,244 hours. The Final Round in Poland was covered by 31 different TV channels, commented on in 23 languages, beamed to 110 countries and had a TV audience of more than 1.1 billion.

For all the latest news on the 2008 FIVB World League go to the official FIVB website at



More press releases
27.07.2008 FIVB World League Final Round: First-ever gold medal for USA; Brazil off podium after 10 years  
26.07.2008 FIVB World League Final Round: Serbia and USA for the gold medal on Sunday  
25.07.2008 FIVB World League Final Round: Brazil, Serbia, Russia and USA make semi-finals  
24.07.2008 FIVB World League Final Round: An easy task for Russia against Japan, USA win long battle with Poland  
23.07.2008 A yellow wave of support for Serbia  
23.07.2008 FIVB World League Final Round: Brazil and Serbia earn straight wins on 1st day in Rio  
23.07.2008 More than 75 countries will watch first match of World League Finals on TV  
22.07.2008 Host country Brazil ready to face Russian block on Wednesday in Rio de Janeiro at FIVB World League Final Round  
20.07.2008 Serbia, Poland join hosts Brazil, Russia, USA, wild-card Japan in FIVB World League Final Round after exciting end to Intercontinental Round action  
16.07.2008 FIVB World League 2008: France, Serbia, Poland, China chasing remaining two Final Round places  
15.07.2008 Japan is granted the wild card for the 2008 World League Final  
13.07.2008 FIVB World League 2008: Russia and USA reach Brazil as qualified teams for Final Round in Rio  
10.07.2008 FIVB World League 2008: France, Russia, USA, Poland in pole positions as other teams get ready to mount challenge on fifth weekend of Intercontinental Round  
06.07.2008 France, Russia, USA, Poland sit in qualifying positions to join Brazil in FIVB World League Final Round after fourth weekend of Intercontinental Round  
02.07.2008 FIVB World League 2008: Excitement builds as fourth weekend of Intercontinental Round action approaches  
30.06.2008 Brazil, Russia, China, USA lead pools after third weekend of FIVB World League Intercontinental Rounds  
27.06.2008 I am very satisfied with this victory, says French Coach Philippe Blain  
25.06.2008 Only one team still with 100 percent record as FIVB 2008 World League enters third weekend of Intercontinental Round action  
22.06.2008 Russia still unbeaten after second weekend in 2008 FIVB World League  
22.06.2008 Venezuela make history in beating Serbia  
19.06.2008 Big teams face tricky away trips as 2008 FIVB World League heats up on second weekend of Intercontinental Round action  
16.06.2008 Overall Report (June.14th ~June.15th)  
16.06.2008 Brazil, USA, Russia, Bulgaria, France get off to perfect starts as fans flock to start of 2008 FIVB World League  
12.06.2008 2008 FIVB World League to start Friday with exciting clashes between top teams  
03.06.2008 FIVB approves Chinese request to switch host city from Chengdu to Hangzhou for 2008 World League matches after devastation caused by earthquake  
28.05.2008 U.S Men hold of Argentina in five-set friendly win  
28.05.2008 FIVB confirms World League 'Match of the Week' schedule: Six live Intercontinental Round matches made available free of charge to TV channels  
16.05.2008 Egypt Head Coach selects squad for 2008 FIVB World League; Iran camp cancelled  
30.04.2008 FIVB confirms receipt of World League team lists  
15.04.2008 USA Men to play against Argentina  
03.04.2008 FIVB confirms 2008 World League match schedule  
21.02.2008 USA Volleyball announces host cities for 2008 World League  
12.02.2008 Venezuela to compete in the 2008 FIVB World League  
23.01.2008 A bid for a place in the FIVB World League 2008, after Canada’s withdrawal  
15.10.2007 Spain returns to the FIVB World League 2008  
28.09.2007 FIVB World League 2008: a confirmation of success. Brazil will organize the Final Round. Francesco Franchi nominated President of the World League Council