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16/02/2015 09:49
DOL coming up on Monday to set the tone for much awaited men’s European Championship Final Round
2015 CEV Volleyball European Championship - Men

Sofia, Bulgaria, February 15, 2015. On Monday the attention of Europe’s Volleyball family will be almost exclusively drawn to the much anticipated Drawing of Lots for the Final Round of the 2015 CEV Volleyball European Championship – Men which is coming up at 16:00 CET and will be held at the Ivan Vazov National Theatre (see picture), one of the main landmarks of Bulgaria’s capital, Sofia. The 16 participating teams – three are still to be determined – will be drawn into four pools of four each to mark the opening stage of the Championship starting on October 9, 2015. The competition will then come to a close on October 18 with the bronze and gold medal matches which are due to take place at the majestic Arena Armeec in Sofia. Russia are the defending champions following the gold medal they won in 2013 in Copenhagen where the podium was completed by Italy and Serbia who claimed silver and bronze, respectively.

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To follow in the footsteps of a successful format initiated back in 2005, once more two countries – in this case, two real Volleyball strongholds, Bulgaria and Italy – will be co-hosting the Championship. Italy had indeed joined forces with then Serbia and Montenegro 10 years ago for the first tournament concurrently held in two different countries, and the 2015 edition will mark the fourth time in the history of the men’s premier competition that the event is held in two countries (after the 2005 ‘pilot episode’ of this success story, Austria and the Czech Republic followed in 2011 before Denmark and Poland joined forces for the 2013 edition).

13 teams have already secured their tickets to Bulgaria and Italy by combining the final standing of the 2013 edition and the results of the second-round qualifiers held in May 2014. These are: Bulgaria and Italy (hosts), Russia, Serbia, France, Germany, Belgium (as per the final standing of the 2013 Final Round), as well as the six winners of the second round of qualifications completed last year (Poland, Finland, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Croatia and Belarus). The remaining three spots will be taken by the winners of the third-round home and away matches scheduled for late May where Slovenia play Portugal, Sweden attempt a comeback to the European stage in a double match up with Estonia, and 2007 gold medallists Spain will take on the Netherlands.

The teams of the host countries – Bulgaria and Italy – and another two chosen by the organisers will head the four pools before the DOL follows thereby distributing the remaining 12 participating teams. The teams allocated to the four pools will compete following the principle “one against each other” in one single round robin. The teams classified 1st in each Preliminary Pool will advance directly to the quarter-final matches; the teams placed 2nd and 3rd in each pool are moved to the playoff matches whilst those placed 4th will be eliminated from the competition.

Click here for further information on the 2015 CEV Volleyball European Championship – Men

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