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2019 Volleyball Challenger Cup to pave the way for 2020 VNL

Hristina Ruseva of Bulgaria catches Colombia's Valerin Carabali off-balance as she attacks to lead Bulgaria in the final of the 2018 FIVB Challenger for a spot in the 2019 FIVB Volleyball Nations League.
Lausanne, Switzerland, June 17, 2019 - The countdown for the 2019 FIVB Men's and Women's Volleyball Challenger Cup has begun with six teams per gender to compete. The women's tournament will be held from June 26 to 30 in Lima, Peru. It will be followed by the men's in Ljubljana, Slovenia from July 3 to 7.

The winner of each Volleyball Challenger Cup will qualify to play in the 2020 VNL, replacing the last-ranked of the Challenger teams in the 2019 VNL. These are Belgium, Bulgaria, the Dominican Republic and Poland in the women's 2019 VNL; and Australia, Bulgaria, Canada and Portugal in the men's event.

• Click here to access the 2019 FIVB Volleyball Challenger Cup website.

Portugal players celebrate after beating the Czech Republic in the final of the men's 2018 FIVB Volleyball Challenger Cup to earn a place in this year's VNL.

The tournaments will feature six teams per gender. In the men's competition the hosts (Slovenia) will be joined by two teams from Europe and one each from NORCECA (North & Central America and the Caribbean) and Africa, plus the winners of a playoff between teams from Asia and South America. In the women's event it will be the hosts against two teams from Europe, one each from NORCECA and Asia and the winner of a playoff between teams from Africa and South America. Click here to see which teams have qualified so far.

The six teams per gender will be divided into two three-team pools for round-robin play with the top two of each pool advancing to the semifinals, ahead of the 3rd-place playoff and final.

Last year Bulgaria's women and Portugal's men won the inaugural Volleyball Challenger Cup for the chance to compete this year in the VNL.

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