Italy - A proud Women's World Championship host country
A total of 24 teams will play 103 matches across six cities from September to October 12|
Milan, Italy, April 24, 2013 – Following Tuesday’s presentation of the competition formula for the FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Championship Italy 2014 in Milan, the sense of pride and occasion inside the room of Expo2015 was palpable.
There were dignitaries from all parts of the country, players from the national women’s team and the new coach of the Italian women’s team Marco Mencarelli, all waxing lyrical about what it means for Italy to host the FIVB Women’s World Championship for the first time.
“As an Italian, I am very proud that we can host the premier event on the international women’s volleyball calendar,” Mr Mencarelli said. “Obviously as coach of our women’s national team, it will be an honour to lead the team out in front of our home fans, trying to win a title we won back in 2002.”
From north to south, all of Italy will be the place to be for the start of the FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Championship on September 23, 2014. Not quite the 10 cities from the men’s edition in 2010 but some of the six cities chosen for the 2014 Women’s Championship are well known as historic places of volleyball at Italian club level, others will have the opportunity to enhance their world-wide reputation with the likes of all, bar Bari, having welcomed the FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Championship in 2010.
“The World Championship is an event of the utmost importance for our country, especially considering the situation across all regions at this moment,” FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Championship Italy 2014 Organising Committee President Carlo Salvatori said. “The FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Championship next year will bring with it incredible value to our country, the players and the six cities will play a very important part for our country.
“When Italy is involved in a big event, it also provides an occasion to demonstrate our organizational efficiency and capacity to show what our country can offer.
“The FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Championship Italy 2014 is an opportunity to take advantage of when it comes to tourism, showing the passionate fans and the 24 participating teams Italy’s beauty, culture and history.”
Not only does the country of Italy have a rich history in culture but also in volleyball.
The host the finals, Milan is the Lombardy region town which was the place for many clubs which formed part of the Italian women’s league history (Junior Milano, Pro Patria Milano and then Volley Club Milano, Europea92 Original Marines Milano) and also the men’s (Milano CSI, Asystel Milano, Sparkling Milano). In 2010, the 10,916 capacity Forum di Assago hosted Italy and their pool during the opening two rounds. With 1.35m inhabitants, Milan is one of the most important cities in Italy for sport with the World League Finals having been staged there in 1991, 1994 and 1998. The final of the FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Championship is guaranteed to help that reputation.
A recent entry but also a host city in 2010, Trieste has a strategic location that will allow many fans from both Italy and Slovenia to cheer their teams. There were only men playing in Trieste until 2003, the last season of Adriavolley Trieste, but it is now ready to host the elite of women’s volleyball at the PalaTrieste which boasts 6,943 seats.
The other two cities in northern Italy are Modena and Verona - both of whom have a great past and present in Italian volleyball and also hosted the Men’s World Championship three year’s ago. The women’s league was in Modena until 2003 with Modena Volley, whilst it is still in Verona with Systema Montichiari playing in A2. Men’s volleyball is stronger in both cities with Modena and Verona both in the top league (A1) and consistently amongst the best clubs in the league.
The FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Championship Italy 2014 will also take in the capital city Rome, which has witnessed some great results for Italian volleyball with a second place finish in the 2004 World League in the 10,710 seat capacity PalaLottomatica and a 1978 Men’s World Championship silver medal.
The FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Championship finals in 2010 in the PalaLottomatica were a great scene even with Italy finishing fourth. Rome also hosted the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships 2011 adding to its volleyball pedigree. In recent years Rome hasn’t had any women’s clubs playing in A1 but until 2009 Roma Pallavolo was playing in A2. The men’s league played at PalaLottomatica until 2011.
The Italian journey ends with Bari, the country town of Apulia. In this city the top clubs played during the nineties, so thanks to the FIVB Women’s World Championship, the city with PalaFlorio - 5,080 seats - will have the chance to start a new volleyball era.
Italy has hosted many women’s competition in the past - the FIVB Junior World Championships in 1985, four European Championships (1971, 1991, 1999 and 2011) and three finals of the FIVB Grand Prix (2003, 2004, 2006) - but it is the first time for the FIVB Women’s World Championship.
Considering Italy’s history, culture and volleyball landscape, there could be no better mix to host the FIVB premier quadrennial women’s volleyball event.