FIVB - Volleyball World League

World League set to get bigger and better for 2014

 

The excitement and action of the World League is set to get more intense this year as the 25th edition of the FIVB World League sees the competition increase from 18 to 28 teams split into seven pools of four teams each.

It is the first time the FIVB’s premiere event will feature such a large number of teams having had 16 teams from 2001-2003 and 2006-2012. The World League featured eight teams in its inaugural year in 1990, 10 in 1991, 12 from 1992-2000 and 2004-05 and then 18 in the 2013 edition.

This year, Pool A features two of the most successful countries in the 24-year history of the World League with world No. 1 and nine-time champions Brazil along with eight time winners Italy, 2012 champions Poland and the rapidly improving Iran.
In Pool B are defending champions Russia, 2012 silver medallists USA, fourth-placed team at last year’s World League, Bulgaria and four-time runners-up Serbia.

Pool C features first time participants Belgium along with Canada, Australia and Finland while Argentina, Germany, France and Japan are in Pool D. Pool E features the Netherlands, Korea, the Czech Republic - who return to the World League after making their only previous appearance in 2003 - and Portugal.

Last year’s 13th place finishers Cuba are joined in Pool F by World League debutants Tunisia, Turkey and Mexico whilst Pool G sees Puerto Rico return after making their only appearance in 2011, China and Spain return after last appearing in 2010 and 2008 respectively while Slovakia will make their World League debut.

Current Olympic and last year’s European champion, Russia will be looking to notch up another victory in their already impressive portfolio of gold medal wins. In 2013 Russia became the third country after Brazil and Italy to win three or more World League titles after an impressive 3-0 win over nine-time winners Brazil in the Final. Italy completed the podium with a bronze medal - their first World League medal since 2004 with a 3-2 win against Bulgaria.

 

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