2015 World League expands to 32 teams as Groups 2 and 3 confirmed
Cagliari, Italy, October 31, 2014 - The FIVB Volleyball World League will feature a record 32 participating countries in 2015 following the addition of Egypt, Kazakhstan, Greece and Montenegro into Group 3, confirmed at a World League Group 2 and Group 3 meeting, held in Cagliari, Italy on Friday.
The World League continues to innovate and inspire, providing opportunities for countries to participate at the highest level. Since 2012, the premier annual men’s volleyball competition has seen tremendous growth having expanded from 12 teams two years ago, to 18 in 2013 and 28 in 2014.
Montenegro are the Euro League winners with Greece as Euro League runner’s up while Kazakhstan finished third in the AVC Cup and Egypt are African Nations champions.
The World League Group 2 and 3 meeting also confirmed the competition calendar and formula for 2015.
Group 2 matches for the 2015 edition of the tournament will begin on the weekend of May 16-19, with the second round held a week later on May 29-31. The Group 2 Finals will take place in Bulgaria from July 10-11, with four teams participating – hosts Bulgaria and the winner of each pool.
Teams from Group 3, on the other hand, will begin their campaigns on June 12-14, with the second round held on June 19-21. The Group 3 Finals will see four teams compete from June 26-28.
The second group will feature 12 teams split into three pools C, D and E, with the teams involved playing home and away for a total of 12 matches per team and 72 matches in total. Four teams – the host country and the winners of the three pools - will qualify for the Group 2 Finals with a possibility of qualification for the Group 1 Final 6. Promotion and relegation from the group will also be at stake in the group.
The teams competing in Group 2 in 2015 are: Argentina, Germany, Bulgaria, 2014 World League Group 3 winners Cuba, France, Canada, Korea, Finland, Belgium, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic and Portugal. Cuba join Group 2 after being promoted from Group 3 in 2014, while Bulgaria feature in the group after being relegated from Group 1.
In Group 3, 12 teams will be split into three pools F, G and H. Teams involved will play in a round robin system, with one host country per tournament. Two rounds will feature six matches per team. Four teams – the host country and the winners of the three pools - will participate in the Finals.
The list of teams in Group 3 includes: Tunisia, China, Japan, Greece, Montenegro, Kazakhstan, Egypt, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Turkey, Slovakia and Spain. Japan were relegated from Group 2 in 2014.
Earlier in July, the FIVB World League Council confirmed the participants - Pool A will include Italy, Brazil, Serbia and Australia, while Pool B will see Russia take on USA, Poland and Iran - and the schedule of Group 1 Finals.