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Women's Club World Championship qualifier in a hall with a (Euro)vision

The capacity of the Crystal Hall is 23,000
Baku, Azerbaijan, March 15, 2014 - The Final Four tournament of the 2014 CEV DenizBank Volleyball Champions League - Women set to start in Baku on Saturday will mark the international sports inauguration of a magnificent facility highlighting the seascape of the Azerbaijani capital – the Crystal Hall.

2014 CEV DenizBank Volleyball Champions League - Women, which finishes on Sunday, sees VakifBank Istanbul (Turkey), Rabita Baku (Azerbaijan), Dinamo Kazan (Russia), and Eczacibasi Vitra Istanbul (Turkey) compete for a chance to become European club champion and win a place at the eighth edition of the FIVB Volleyball Club World Championship tournament that will be held from May 7 to 11 in the Swiss city of Zurich.

Last year’s FIVB Volleyball Club World Championship saw VakifBank Istanbul graduate from European to world champions in front of a packed Saalsporthalle in Zurich. The winners of this year’s European Champions League will join host club Volero Zurich and Brazil’s SESI-SP who won the 14th edition of the Women’s South American Club Championship in February in Zurich.

The Asia representative will be decided at the 2014 Women's Asian Club Championship that will be held from April 17 to 25 in Nakhonpathom, Thailand.
A further two teams – jointly decided by the FIVB and the organisers – will complete the line-up of clubs taking part in the Championship.

The Crystal Hall, which was constructed between August 2011 and April 2012, was ready well in time for the event it was specially built for - the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest.  This glamorous building is proudly standing on a man-made peninsula, next to the National Flag Square, protruding into the waters of the world’s largest lake – the Caspian Sea.  At night, the Crystal Hall is spectacularly illuminated in constantly changing colors and has become a wonderful addition to the already glorious Baku skyline.

After the Eurovision finals, the 23,000-seater has also hosted concerts of major international pop stars such as Jennifer Lopez, Shakira and Rihanna and is now ready to make its debut on the international sports scene.

The organizing club of the Final Four – Rabita Baku, has already tested the Crystal Hall with a domestic league match as part of the preparation for its true European volleyball inauguration on Saturday afternoon, when, starting at 16:00 local time, the Turkish powerhouses VakifBank Istanbul and Eczacibasi Vitra Istandbul will face each other in the first of two CEV DenizBank Champions League semifinals.  At 19:00 local time Rabita will entertain Russian standout Dinamo Kazan to determine the second participant in Sunday’s final.

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