2014 World League Intercontinental Round Calendar released
Lausanne, Switzerland, February 6, 2014 – With 28 teams in the running for the 2014 World League title, the Intercontinental Round calendar for this year’s tournament contains a packed schedule of matches beginning the weekend of May 23 to 25.
Nine time World League winners Brazil will begin their bid for this year’s World League title on the first weekend of pool play when they take on last year’s bronze medallists, Italy. Olympic champions and defending World League title holder Russia will take on Serbia in their first away match of the tournament in the second weekend of the Intercontinental Round.
became the third country after Brazil and Italy to win three or more World
League titles after an impressive 3-0 (25-23, 25-19, 25-19) win over nine-time
winners Brazil in the 2013 FIVB Volleyball World League final in Mar del Plata,
In Pool B are defending champions Russia, 2012 silver medallists USA, this year’s fourth-placed team Bulgaria and four-time runner’s up Serbia.
Pool C features first time participants Belgium along with Canada, Australia and Finland while Argentina, Germany, France and Japan are in Pool D. Pool E features the Netherlands, Korea, the Czech Republic - who return to the World League after making their only previous appearance in 2003 – and Portugal.
Last year’s 13th place finishers Cuba are joined in Pool F by World League debutants Tunisia, Turkey and Mexico while Pool G sees Puerto Rico return after making their only appearance in 2011, China and Spain return after last appearing in 2010 and 2008 respectively while Slovakia will make their World League debut.
In the Intercontinental Round, Pools A, B, C, D and E play double home and away matches - two matches each weekend – while Pools F and G play Round Robin tournaments (two matches per day over three days).
Pool A & B will hold a Final – the top two teams in each pool (A & B), the hosts and the winner from the Final from Pools C, D and E – the week of July 16 to 20.
Pool C, D & E will hold a Final six/four (to be confirmed) on the weekend of July 11 to 13 (dates to be confirmed).
Pool F & G will hold a Final Four expected to take place on June 27 to 29. The host country, the two winners from each pool and the second best team overall will qualify.
The last ranked team of Pool A & B after the Intercontinental Round could be relegated if the winner of the Final of Pools C, D and E can meet the promotion requirements set by the FIVB.
The FIVB’s premier annual men’s volleyball event
will expand from 18 countries to 28 for the first time ever. It is the first time
the World League will feature 28 teams, having had 16 teams from 2001-2003 and
2006-2012. The World League featured eight teams in its inaugural year in 1990,
10 in 1991 and then 12 from 1992-2000 and 2004-05. Last year’s edition of the
World League featured 18 countries.
()Numbers in brackets denotes world ranking