Divino Braga Gymnasium ready to host FIVB Men's Club World Championships
From October 15 to 20, nearly 7,000 fans will have the opportunity to watch the top teams compete at the FIVB Men's Club World Championships at the gymnasium, which has previously hosted the FIVB World League games.
FIVB Men's Club Championships hosts Sada Cruzeiro (formerly "Sada Betim") also previously used the gymnasium as its home court. The professional Brazilian volleyball team, and 2013 Brazilian Super League silver medalists, automatically qualified and will participate in the tournament for the second year in a row after finishing runners-up to Italy's Trentino in 2012.
"It's amazing that Minas Gerais is hosting the competition, playing at home will be amazing," said Sada Cruzeiro president Vittorio Medioli. "Our fans love volleyball and I'm sure the gym will be packed every day. It is a unique moment for our team, so we have to enjoy it and give our best. Winning the tournament will be the icing on the cake of this unique moment."
FIVB President Dr Ary S. Graça F° also expressed confidence that volleyball fans in Betim will flock to see the biggest stars of the sport during the FIVB Men’s Club World Championship.
"We have no doubt that the people of Betim will come,” Dr Graça added. “We all know about the relationship miners have with volleyball. Perhaps we will need to put a screen up outside of the gym, to attract even more fans during matches.”
Betim, a city of 375,000 people, is situated in Minas Gerais state 458 kilometres inland from Rio de Janeiro. About 30,000 people are expected to take in matches.
The FIVB Volleyball Men's Club World Championship will bring together eight squads from around the world, including teams from Europe, Asia, Africa, South America and NORCECA, besides the host club, Sada Cruzeiro.
From Italy comes the four-time champions Trentino, South America will be represented by continental champions UPCN (Argentina). The tournament will also include Lokomotiv Novosibirsk from Russia (European champions), Kaleh Mazandaran from Iran (Asian champions), Panasonic - winners of the Emperor Cup from Japan, Tunisia's Sfax (African champions), and La Romana of the Dominican Republic as the representative of NORCECA.
The eight teams will be divided into two groups of four in the qualifying stage. The top two teams in each advance to the semifinals. The winning teams will qualify for the final and the losers will compete for third place. The finals will be on October 20.