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Przedpelski promises groundbreaking Men's World Championship

Polish Volleyball Federation President Miroslaw Przedpelski discussed preparations for the FIVB Volleyball Men's World Championship Poland 2014
Warsaw, Poland, May 22, 2014 - With just 100 days to go before the Opening Ceremony and Match of the FIVB Volleyball Men's World Championship at the National Stadium in Warsaw, Polish Volleyball Federation President Miroslaw Przedpelski discussed preparations for the highlight of this year's volleyball calendar, which promises to be a groundbreaking tournament.

What do you think about the present state of preparations for this important event in the history of Polish volleyball - the FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Championship Poland 2014?

All of the planned tasks are being accomplished according to the schedule. Naturally, with 100 days left to the beginning of the tournament, our work is more intensive and consists of organising the tournament itself.

Which aspects of the preparations have already been finished, what is being worked on right now and what still lies ahead for the Polish Volleyball Federation?

This might sound strange, but I would say that there are actually no areas which are definitely closed. The organisation of such a complex event is a continuous process. Even if the principal goals in a given field of work have been reached, we are still monitoring and applying modifications in that area if needed. Logistical and organisational matters are behind us. We know the exact schedule of the competition, the grouping and the location of the teams, volunteers, referees, officials, the next stages of ticket sales and phases of promotion. It’s hard to list all our work. There are a few questions, which we are focusing on right now, including the Opening Ceremony and Match, promoting the Championship in Poland and abroad, and many others.

What issues proved to be the biggest challenge for the organisers?

The FIVB and PZPS are doing everything possible to make this championship unique in the history of volleyball. We have set the bar very high. The Opening Ceremony and Match, that I mentioned, which will be played in a football stadium, is a first event of this kind. It’s a first ever official match held at such a venue. No one has done it before, so it’s hard to find standards to follow. Everything that will happen at the National Stadium is new and needs to be created.

The tickets for the Opening Ceremony and Match sold out instantly. You must be pleased, as this was your own idea?

I will be fully satisfied when this entire thing works. It’s also a huge responsibility towards the 62000 spectators at the National Stadium and millions of television viewers. I’m very happy that the FIVB saw this event as a fantastic opportunity to promote volleyball. My colleagues in Lausanne and Warsaw have put a lot of effort into this unique event. The most important thing is the reaction of the fans. They bought the whole pool of tickets in 100 minutes. It makes me very happy and motivates me. It’s good to have ideas, even if at first they seem crazy.

How are the ticket sales going in other cities?

They are satisfactory. Tickets for the matches of the Polish national team, the semifinals and final matches were of course sold out first. Finnish fans are particularly active and they have already bought more than 2000 tickets. Volleyball fans from Germany are equally enthusiastic. We are getting a lot of support from Russia, who will play in Gdańsk. Bulgarian fans are not far behind. We expect a large group of fans from Italy, France and Begium to come to Kraków. Polish fans are of course first, with their boundless love for the sport.  The sales continue, so the number of fans present at the FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Championship Poland 2014 will keep growing.

Is the championship being optimally used as a platform for promotion of Poland and the host cities?

I have already mentioned the promotional event that took place in Moscow, not long ago. A very well prepared presentation, a lot of interest from the media and tour operators – and these are not the only promotional activities run by the championship’s organisers. We get a lot of support from the FIVB, the Polish Ministry of Sports and Tourism, the Ministry of Economy and the Polish Tourist Organisation. The cities that are going to be hosts for the best 24 teams are incredibly active. Activities for promotion of the Polish championship, Poland and the host cities are regularly taking place at all kinds of events, conferences and fairs. Just so you don’t think that I’m being empty worded, one of the results of these promotional activities is a Polish-Brazilian Economic Congress, planned to take place during the championship.

The FIVB, as the co-organiser of the championship, is hoping that it will be groundbreaking. What would this breakthrough be?

I can’t deny that if it wasn’t for President Graça’s trust and support from the FIVB, carrying out such a bold project would be impossible. This championship is set to be a groundbreaking event in the history of volleyball. In over 200 countries which will receive our television broadcast, we want to show that volleyball is a dynamic, clear, friendly, elegant and attractive sport. That is why TV Polsat, which is already a fantastic partner for broadcasting volleyball, is again preparing new technological solutions that will make the broadcast even more vivid and easy to understand. I don’t want to give too much detail, just let me say that the spectators in the stands are going to be no less important than the heroes on the court, but I don’t want to spoil it by saying too much. At the start of the tournament, we will hold a unique ceremony and a match at a fully packed National Stadium. Additional stands for almost 12000 spectators, built on the stadium field, will make for something completely new, both at the venue and on television.

As far as the organisation goes, it all looks very promising. How about the sports side of the event? Do you have any worries about Poland's national team?

Worries? No. I’m sure our players are aware that they are going to participate in an absolutely unique event, in front of their volleyball loving fans and they will fight to the end. If they fight, they can achieve a lot.

Who do you think is the favourite team of the FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Championship Poland 2014?

Every one of the 24 teams is a favourite. Every team that is going to play in Poland dreams about triumph. Naturally, their individual potential seems different, but sport loves surprises. That’s why there are no absolute favourites. The most important thing in sports is that if you are going to lose, do so after putting up a real fight. Then you can walk off the court with your head up high. It is a kind of victory

What will this championship be like?

It will be a top level competition in both organisational and sporting terms, with fascinating matches, full of enthusiastic, friendly and colourful crowds, with beautiful cities and, when all is over, wonderful and unforgettable memories. I invite you all to Poland!


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