FIVB - Volleyball World League

Press release

Iran and the Netherlands confirmed as new teams in 2013 World League


This is the first time Iran has qualified for the World League

Lausanne, Switzerland, September 10, 2012 – Both of the bottom two teams from the 2012 World League, Japan and Portugal, lost their places in the 2013 edition to challengers in the qualification process that ended September 9. In the final round of playoffs, Iran powered their way past Japan in convincing fashion while the Netherlands squeaked past Portugal in a hard-fought series.

The World League qualification process allows two teams the opportunity to challenge for the right to play in the annual men’s competition. This year, four teams were in a position to contend for that right, so first-round playoffs were held between the Netherlands and the Dominican Republic, on the one hand, and between Egypt and Iran on the other. The Netherlands and Iran emerged from those two-game series on top, gaining the chance to replace Portugal and Japan in the 2013 World League.

The rules stipulated that if a challenging team is from the same continent as one of the teams being challenged those two automatically play each other. In the second round of playoffs the Netherlands were therefore paired with fellow Europeans Portugal while Iran faced their Asian counterparts from Japan.

The Netherlands beat Portugal in two thrilling five set encounters in Rotterdam to return to the World League for the first time since 2010.

After the Netherlands won the first match 3-2 (26-24, 25-23, 24-26, 22-25, 20-18), Portugal effectively only need to win the second match to save their spot in the World League due to the narrow points difference in game one. But the Netherlands, with Humphrey Krolis to the fore, proved they have what it takes to play at this level, claiming the last two sets to win 3-2 (20-25, 25-23, 17-25, 25-21, 15-13).

Prior to the playoff, it was hard to pick who would win it. Playing at home and looking to build on their storied history in international volleyball, the Dutch, ranked 41st in the world, were hoping to return to the World League for the first time since 2010 and for the 17th time in 23 editions. Meanwhile Portugal, ranked 38th in the world, were out to defend the World League spot which they had held for the past two years. Their 16th place finish in 2012 meant they had to enter the playoff system. They would have fancied their chances, considering they beat the Netherlands 3-0 (25-20, 25-22, 25-18) in 2010 in pool play of the 2011 European Championships. At the FIVB level, however, Portugal had yet to take a set from the Netherlands in a total of nine FIVB World League matches. In the end, the Dutch crowd may have been the difference.

Iran’s victories on September 7 and 9 were their fifth and sixth successive wins against world No. 19 Japan. The second leg of the two-match qualification series in Tehran September 9 ended 3-0 (25-16, 25-17, 25-21). Farhad Ghaemi top scored with 11 points, while regular scoring machine Shahram Mahmoudi chipped in with 10.

The 15,000 fans filling Azadi Hall in Tehran cheerfully watched their home team continue to dominate the visitors, with celebrations reaching a fever pitch when Iran won the first set – Iran had already won the first leg 3-0 (25-19, 25-14, 25-23) and only needed to win a set or have a superior points ratio to gain their first berth in the World League.

Iran came into the series against Japan having just overcome the tough assignment of beating Egypt in Cairo. As with the Netherlands and Portugal, it was the first time either team had played on home soil – though that didn’t seem to favour Egypt as Iran won the two-match playoff in impressive style.

It continues an impressive run by Iran against Egypt, as the world No. 14 has now beaten the world No. 13 four times in five games (including the last three encounters), extending to last year’s World Cup and the 2009 Grand Champions Cup.

Download highresolution

| More

More press releases

   
10.09.2012 00:05:22
It's one of the best days of my life: Iran captain
Tehran, Iran, September 9, 2012 - Iran captain called his team's World-League-qualifying victory over Japan one of the best days of his life at a post... More...
09.09.2012 16:52:02
Iran beat Japan to secure historic World League spot
Tehran, Iran, September 9, 2012 – World No. 14 Iran secured an historic spot in the 2013 FIVB World League after defeating Japan 3-0 (25-16, 25-17, 25... More...
08.09.2012 09:52:49
Players' spirit was main reason for our win - Velasco
Tehran, Iran, September 7, 2012 - Iran coach Julio Velasco praises the spirit of his players after his side beat Japan in straight sets in the first o... More...
07.09.2012 18:56:53
Iran beat Japan in opening World League 2013 qualifier
Tehran, Iran, September 7, 2012 - Favourites Iran convincingly won the opening World League 2013 qualification encounter against Japan 3-0 (25-19, 25-... More...
06.09.2012 23:21:27
Iran v Japan World League qualifier promises to enthrall
Lausanne, Switzerland, September 6, 2012 – The final step in the qualifying process for the FIVB World League 2013 begins on Friday when Iran, ranked ... More...
06.09.2012 00:35:54
Iran prepares for World League qualifier against Japan
Tehran, Iran, September 6, 2012 – The Iran Volleyball Federation will host the second round of the 2013 FIVB World League qualification tournament thi... More...
03.09.2012 11:12:24
Drama and excitment aplenty in World League playoffs
Lausanne, Switzerland, September 3, 2012 – It was another outstanding weekend of World League 2013 qualification action with plenty of cheers and tear... More...
02.09.2012 22:07:08
Iran beat Egypt to book encounter with Japan in WL 2013 playoffs
Cairo, Egypt, September 2, 2012 - World number 14 Iran beat Egypt, ranked 13th in the world, 3-1 (25-12, 28-30, 25-17, 25-22) on Sunday to record seco... More...
02.09.2012 16:13:49
We can learn a lot from Portugal - Benne
Rotterdam, the Netherlands, September 2, 2012 – Following Sunday's impressive 3-2 (20-25, 25-23, 17-25, 25-21, 15-13) win over Portugal to seal a spot... More...
02.09.2012 15:33:10
Netherlands replace Portugal in World League after two superb five-setters
Rotterdam, the Netherlands, September 2, 2012 – World No. 41 the Netherlands beat Portugal, ranked 38th in the world, in the second match of their Wor... More...