Algeria's GSP awarded Women's Club World Championship Wild Card
GSP claimed the Africa club title for the second time on Sunday after beating last year’s FIVB Volleyball Women’s Club World Championship participants and Africa champions Kenya Prisons, and join hosts Volero Zurich, 2014 South America Women’s Club Championship champions Sesi-SP, European club champions Dinamo Kazan, the winners of the Asia Club Championship Japan’s Hisamitsu Springs and the other wild card team Molico Osasco of Brazil.
It is the first time Algeria is represented at the FIVB Volleyball Women’s Club World Championship but the second time for Africa after Posta of Kenya participated in the inaugural edition in 1991 and 1992, and Kenya Prisons played in the 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 editions, finishing eighth and fifth respectively.
GSP, who boast many Algerian internationals in their side including libero Salima Hammouche, Aicha Mezemate, Zohra Bensalem, former national team skipper Fatima Zahra Oukazi and star spiker Safia Boukhima who participate in the FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix, will play in Pool A of the eighth edition of the FIVB Volleyball Women’s Club World Championship Zurich 2014, which features six teams split across two pools and will take place in the Saalsporthalle from May 7 to 11.
Molico Osasco and Hisamitsu Springs open the tournament with a Pool B match at 17:30 local time (15:30 GMT) before Volero Zurich take on SESI-SP in a Pool A game at 20:00 (18:00 GMT). GSP’s opening match will be against Volero Zurich on May 8 at 20:00 (18:00 GMT).
The FIVB Volleyball Women’s Club World Championship has had seven different winners from four different countries. Brazil has been represented on the winner’s podium three times, Turkey twice while Azerbaijan and Italy have had clubs step on the top podium once.
Last year’s tournament saw VakifBank Istanbul graduate from European to world champions in front of a packed Saalsporthalle in Zurich. The Turkey representatives beat their South American counterparts Unilever Volei from Brazil in straight sets 3-0 (25-23, 27-25, 25-16) to capture their first ever FIVB Volleyball Women’s Club World Championship title.
The FIVB Volleyball Men’s Club World Championship, which will take place in Belo Horizonte, Brazil from May 5 to 10, includes defending champions Sada Cruzeiro, who finished second to Italy’s Trentino in the FIVB Volleyball Men’s Club World Championship Doha 2012, UPCN of Argentina, who qualified after finishing as runner-up at the South American Men’s Club Championship, European champions Belogorie Belgorod of Russia, African champions Esperance of Tunisia, the NORCECA representative Guaynabo Mets along with the Asia champions Matin Varamin of Iran. The two wild cards were allocated to four time champions Trentino of Italy and Qatar’s Al-Rayyan.