Dubai, United Arab Emirates, June 17, 2008 – Dr. Rubén Acosta (Mexico) made official his announced retirement from the presidency of the International Volleyball Federation at the end of the 31st FIVB World Congress which finished on Tuesday 17 June in Dubai. Mr. Wei Jizhong (China), First Vice-President, will take over the leadership of the organisation as President, unanimously elected until the next elections forseen in 2012, according to the recent decision of the Congress to follow again in four years’ time the Olympiad cycle.
The delegates of the 200 National Federations gathered in Dubai gave a long, warm ovation to Dr. Acosta who, for personal reasons, had expressed his intention last month to cut short his mandate on the occasion of the Opening Ceremony of “Château Les Tourelles,” the new premises owned exclusively by the FIVB in Lausanne.
“I am leaving the presidency during this Congress so that a new era can unfold for the FIVB,” declared the Mexican leader, who has presided over the world Volleyball organisation for nearly a quarter of a century. He succeeded the Frenchman, Mr. Paul Libaud, the President who founded the FIVB in 1947, on the occasion of the Los Angeles Olympic Games in 1984.
After having announced, not without emotion, that he had presented his last report in Dubai, Dr. Acosta confided to the Congress Delegates, “I take with me souvenirs of my life at the FIVB which are among the happiest of my life, souvenirs shared by my wife who has accompanied me all these years in successful times as well as in distressing and difficult times.
“We have had,” he added, “happy, joyful moments, times full of laughter and sometimes, unfortunately also troubles and tears. But never, absolutely never, have our hopes been dashed. Our work was demanding and hard, but it was worthwhile.”
In the course of these twenty-four years of the Acosta era, the FIVB and Volleyball have experienced an upward turn in all areas. The institution, as substantiated by the figures in Dr. Acosta’s final report, enjoys solid, financial health, which guarantees its complete independence. It has an efficient administrative structure, spreading over all the continents, gathering a record number of 220 affiliated National Federations, Training and Development Centres all over the world and a programme of high quality sports competitions which are an integral part of the main dates on the international calendar. Moreover, Volleyball and Beach Volleyball feature henceforth among the main disciplines of the Olympic programme.
“We are leaving, my wife and I, conscious of having accomplished the mission entrusted to us. We thank all of you for having so kindly taken part in our fascinating journey of 8740 days and for your support which has enabled us to build and consolidate the world of Volleyball,” concluded Dr. Acosta amid a thunder of applause and an emotive ovation.”
The FIVB Executive Committee unanimously decided to invite Dr. Acosta to become FIVB Honorary Life President and to continue guide the organisation. The Congress approved the proposal by acclamation.
The General Assembly also accepted to request Dr. Acosta to stay as President until the end of the Beijing Olympics. The final day of Dr. Acosta’s presidency will be August 24, 2008, when he will officially transfer the Presidency to the new Elected President Mr. Jizhong Wei.
The Executive Committee will meet in October to discuss transition matters.