Lausanne, September 23, 2008 – The FIVB World League Council at its annual meeting on Tuesday chose Argentina and the Netherlands to replace Spain and Egypt in the 2009 edition of FIVB’s flagship annual Men’s Volleyball tournament after the latter two national teams were ruled to have the lowest attendance record among the 2008 participants.
In accordance with a decision made at the 2007 FIVB World League Council meeting approved by the Board of Administration, countries with a poor attendance record are liable to be replaced by other national teams wishing to take part in the World League.
The other teams set to take part in the 16-team World League in 2009 are 2008 winners USA, eight-time champions Italy, seven-time winners Brazil, Poland, Finland, Venezuela, China, Russia, 2008 runners-up Serbia, Japan, Cuba, Bulgaria, France and Korea (pool composition below).
The Final Round is set for July 22-26, 2009, with no changes to the current World League formula. The host country of the Final Round will be decided in one month’s time, with concrete proposals received from Serbia, USA and China.
The World League Council produced a glowing assessment of the 2008 edition of the competition, which culminated with a successful Final Round in Rio de Janeiro.
There were 2,080 hours of television coverage worldwide (excluding news coverage), with 35 percent of it live match coverage. The gold-medal match between USA and Serbia was broadcast in more than 100 countries.
A new record was set for World League attendance. A total of 665,000 spectators attended the 106 Intercontinental and Final Round matches, beating the 2001 record of 649,000.
The top three countries in terms of attendance were Brazil with 77,530 spectators, Cuba with 66,746 and Venezuela with 60,500.
Once again, more than US$20 million Prize Money was distributed among the 16 competing teams.
The pool structure for the 2009 edition – the 20th anniversary of the World League – is as follows:
The tentative schedule will be confirmed by the FIVB in one month’s time after the confirmation of cities and venues.