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23 March 2013
Lausanne, Switzerland, March 21, 2013 – Following the withdrawal of Egypt from FIVB Volleyball World League 2013, Portugal will replace the African Champions in the prestigious annual event.
Portugal, ranked 36th in the world, finished 16th in last year’s World League and were eligible to fill the vacancy left by Egypt – who withdrew citing difficulty in complying with tournament regulations - having lost to the Netherlands in the second round of the World League 2013 qualifiers*.
Portugal will join Pool C, which consists of Canada (WR18), Korea (WR22), Finland (WR31), the Netherlands (WR41) and Japan (WR19) and will feature in the opening match of the competition against Finland, who finished 13th last year, in Helsinki on Friday, May 31. The times and locations of Portugal’s home matches will be confirmed in the coming days.
The World League will feature 18 teams (three pools of six teams) for the first time in its history.
2013 World League pools:
Pool A: Brazil (WR1), Poland (WR4), USA (WR5), Bulgaria (WR8), Argentina (WR9) and France (WR16)
Pool B: Russia (WR2), Italy (WR3), Cuba (WR6), Serbia (WR7), Germany (WR10), Iran (WR14)
Pool C: Canada (WR18), Korea (WR22), Finland (WR31), the Netherlands (WR41), Japan (WR19), Portugal (WR36).
Six teams will qualify for the World League Finals featuring the top two teams from Pools A and B, plus the winners of Pool C and the host country. If World League Finals hosts Argentina finish in the top two of Pool A, then the next two best ranked teams in the Pool will qualify for the Finals.
The top three world ranked teams in each pool will play three matches at home and two away with the bottom three world ranked teams playing twice at home and three times away.
The Intercontinental Round will run from May 31 to July 14 before the Finals will take place in Mar del Plata, Argentina from July 17 to 21.
* The World League qualifiers in August and September last year saw the two bottom teams from the 2012 edition play two other countries who had progressed through a qualifying system.
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