Lausanne, Switzerland, February 24, 2010 – World No. 1 Brazil will begin the defence of their FIVB World League crown against Bulgaria on June 4 in Uberlandia, Brazil after the FIVB officially confirmed the schedule for this year’s FIVB World League on Wednesday.
The last time Brazil played Bulgaria in the FIVB World League was in the 2007 Final Round which Bulgaria won 3-2 (25-21, 20-25, 25-21, 23-25, 12-15). However, the world champions from South America came out on top to win their seventh title.
Meanwhile, world No.2 side Russia take on Olympic champions USA in a mouth watering opening match of the tournament between two sides ranked in the top three teams in the world. Their first match of two will take place on June 4 in Ekaterinebourg, Russia at 12.00 (GMT).
Other interesting opening round fixtures include FIVB World Grand Champions Cup silver medalists Cuba taking on World League final round hosts Argentina in La Habana (first match on June 5 at 00.40 (GMT)) as well as last year’s runners-up Serbia hosting China in Nis (first match on June 4 at 18.15 (GMT)).
The newly promoted countries, Egypt and Germany, will take on Finland and Poland respectively in their opening fixtures. Both teams qualified for the World League after coming through qualification matches at the end of last year, Germany beating Mexico and Venezuela and Egypt beating Iran and Japan.
The Intercontinental Round is held over six weekends until July 10 at which stage the four winners of each pool qualify alongside the best second-placed team as well as hosts Argentina.
The Final Round, held from July 21 to 25, will see the six teams being split into two pools, will take place in Cordoba, Argentina.
Brazil won last year’s tournament beating Serbia 3-2 (22-25, 25-23, 25-22, 23-25, 15-12) in an exhilarating final in Belgrade, and will be hoping to claim their ninth title later this year.
For the full schedule and for more information on this year’s FIVB World League click here