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World League pools confirmed as Japan replace Dutch

Last year's FIVB World League took place in Cordoba, Argentina and the 2011 edition will conclude in Gdansk, Poland

Lausanne, Switzerland, October 19, 2010 – The FIVB World League Council has announced the groups for the 2011 edition of the premier annual Volleyball event for men, with Japan confirmed as the replacement for the absent Netherlands.

The top four sides from the 2010 edition have been split across the four pools for the Intercontinental Round, which will run from May 27 until July 1. The World League council revealed the breakdown of the 16 competing teams after its annual meeting in Lausanne on Monday.

In a mouth-watering first group, world champions and World League title holders Brazil (1)* will be joined by Olympic champions USA (8), world No9 Poland (10) and debutants Puerto Rico, who beat last year's 15th-placed team China in a promotion/relegation series to qualify for the World League for the first-ever time.

Pool B also promises some exciting contests with world No2 Russia (2) taking on No7 Bulgaria (7), 2010 newcomers Germany (9) and Japan (14) who, despite losing to Korea in the promotion/relegation series, became eligible for the competition following the Netherlands' withdrawal for development reasons.

The third group in the competition will pit 2010 World League and World Championship bronze medallists Serbia against last year's Final Round hosts Argentina (5), Finland (13) and another of the 2010 newcomers, Egypt (14).

The fourth pool comprises two of last year's Final Round teams in World Championship silver medallists Cuba (4) and Italy (6), who are joined by France (12) and Korea (16).

The full draw is:

Pool A – Brazil, Poland, USA and Puerto Rico
Pool B – Russia, Bulgaria, Germany and Japan
Pool C – Serbia, Argentina, Finland and Egypt
Pool D – Cuba, Italy, France and Korea

The top two teams in each pool will qualify for the Final Round, which will be held in Gdansk, Poland from July 6-10. If the Final Round hosts finish lower than second in their group, they will still qualify along with the best three second-placed teams across all four pools.

* Numbers in brackets indicate the finishing position in 2010.


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