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17/02/2015 18:05
DOL provides series of high-fly fixtures right from start of highly anticipated men’s European Championship
2015 CEV Volleyball European Championship - Men

Sofia, Bulgaria, February 16, 2015. Europe’s Volleyball fans can start looking forward to a terrific Volleyball party following the Drawing of Lots for the Final Round of the 2015 CEV Volleyball European Championship – Men that Bulgaria and Italy will co-host from October 9 through 18, 2015. The DOL held on Monday at the Ivan Vazov National Theatre in Bulgaria’s capital set the tone for a series of exciting, high-fly Volleyball matches as 16 teams will vie for the fictional crown of kings of European Volleyball. 2013 gold medallists Russia and bronze medal winners Serbia were drawn in the same pool, whilst hosts Bulgaria and Italy will take on the third and fourth placed teams from last year’s World Championship, Germany and France. The reigning world champions of Poland will most probably find in Belgium, one of Europe’s rising powers, their toughest competitor in Pool C. The DOL was also an opportunity for the organisers to launch the official theme song of the Championship, Heroes, that was performed on stage by Nickname.

Follow #EuroVolleyM also on facebook.com/CEV.lu and twitter.com/CEVolleyball

Click here for a picture gallery of the DOL

Following today’s DOL the composition of the four preliminary pools reads as follows:

Pool A in Sofia: Bulgaria, Germany, Czech Republic, Spain/Netherlands
Pool B in Turin: Italy, France, Croatia, Sweden/Estonia
Pool C in Varna: Poland, Belgium, Belarus, Slovenia/Portugal
Pool D in Busto Arsizio: Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Finland

Click here for a detailed match programme

The Final Round of the men’s European Championship is returning to Bulgaria for the first time since 1981 whilst the last continental tournament of this calibre to have taken place in the Balkan country dates back to 2001 when Bulgaria hosted the women’s finals. As for the co-host of this tournament, the men’s European Championship is back in the boot-shaped peninsula after the 2005 edition whose finals were played in Rome after the early stages of the competition were co-hosted by Italy and Serbia and Montenegro.

The competition will get underway on October 9 with the first round of pool matches. 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 will be moved to the playoff matches whilst those placed 4th will be eliminated from the competition. The three spots still vacant to complete the line-up for the Final Round 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 DOL was attended by a series of illustrious guests, with CEV President André Meyer, CEV Senior Vice President Aleksandar Boricic, and CEV Vice President Renato Arena enjoying the company of the chairmen of the Bulgarian and Italian Volleyball Federations, Dancho Lazarov and Carlo Magri, whilst the Bulgarian government was represented by Mr Krasen Kralev, the country’s Minister of Youth and Sports. The Mayors of Sofia and Varna, the Bulgarian cities set to host the competition, Mrs Yordanka Fandakova and Mr Ivan Portnih, were also in attendance as the 2015 CEV Volleyball European Championship – Men continues the tradition of high-level Volleyball competitions hosted in their respective home towns, with Mrs Fandakova recalling that Sofia has been awarded the title of European Capital of Sport in 2018.    

The event held at one of the main landmarks of Bulgaria’s capital city was joined also by current members of the Bulgarian national team and Volleyball legends, such as Dimo Tonev who performed the DOL on stage, as well as by other sports personalities from the Balkan country, including open water swimmer Petar Stoychev and word-class rowing coach Svilen Neykov, who are both former Ministers of Physical Education and Sport.

The DOL ceremony included also show acts with Bulgaria’s and Italy’s national anthems that were played by the Youth Orchestra Sofia of the National School of Music Lyubomir Pipkov and a performance by the ensemble mentored by rhythmic gymnastics legendary coach Neshka Robeva, the lady behind Bulgaria’s success story in that sport in the ‘70s and ‘80s.

“As we know the passion that Bulgaria and Italy share for our sport, I am confident that our Championship is in good hands. I expect a terrific Volleyball show to unfold in all four venues that will host the tournament so that we can add another milestone in our efforts to raise the popularity and exposure of our sport to unprecedented heights,” CEV President André Meyer said from the stage of the Ivan Vazov National Theatre.

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