CEV Executive Committee more than pleased with latest developments of Volleyball and Beach Volleyball in Europe
News from the CEV
Brussels, Belgium, December 7, 2013. The members of the CEV Executive Committee chaired by CEV President André Meyer met on Saturday in Brussels for their last meeting of a busy year marked by the celebrations for the CEV 40th anniversary as well as by many other successful events, including the Final Rounds of the 2013 CEV Volleyball European Championship and a Beach Volleyball European Championship Final held in Klagenfurt that broke all records in terms of spectator attendance and TV ratings.
The CEV Executive Committee members were warmly welcomed by the President of the Royal Belgian Volleyball Federation, Willy Bruninx, who could also look back at a memorable year for the local Volleyball family with the men’s national team that won the European League title while the women celebrated a historic bronze medal at the Final Round of the European Championship in Berlin.
Among other things, the EXCOM reviewed the current situation of international transfers within Europe and did also start a discussion about the role of players’ agents. In order to follow up on this preliminary step, additional information will be collected in the coming months so as to provide the CEV Board of Administration with a more comprehensive analysis so as to better study and evaluate the actions to be undertaken.
With Europe so far counting on four Regional Volleyball Development Centers in Azerbaijan, England, Italy and Luxembourg and another set to follow in Northern Europe, the CEV Executive Committee enjoyed the opportunity of this meeting to review the structure and activities of these “hubs” specifically created for Volleyball excellence. “With this in mind, the Executive Committee evaluated plans for a sixth Regional Volleyball Development Center to be possibly added to Europe’s portfolio in the near future” CEV President André Meyer says.
Though the CEV Executive Committee members were pleased with Europe being massively represented in the 2014 edition of the FIVB World League and FIVB World Grand Prix with 15 and 11 of 28 participating teams coming from the “Old Continent”, they also stressed their disappointment for the decision made by the FIVB to re-schedule such events without previously consulting the Continental Confederations. As a result, the FIVB World League will overlap the second qualification round of the 2015 CEV Volleyball European Championship scheduled for May/June 2014 whose dates and venues were confirmed in late October. The EXCOM emphasized the necessity for both parties to study possible changes to the current schedule so as to accommodate their respective needs. Starting from this case, the CEV Executive Committee members deplored the current lack of communication between FIVB and the Continental Confederations, expressing their wish for an improvement at this level in the near future.
The Executive Committee also confirmed that the 2014 CEV Volleyball European League will be played with home and away matches after the last edition – where each participating team hosted one tournament – showed very low and disappointing figures in terms of spectator attendance. The relevant regulations are being finalized and will be sent next week – together with the invitation to join the competition – to all National Federations. The annual European League meeting is scheduled for this coming January 16 in Luxembourg City and will finalize the Pools composition as well as the calendar for the 2014 edition.
The prelims of the 2014 CEV DenizBank Volleyball Champions League will come to a close in a couple of weeks and the clubs interested in hosting this year’s Final Fours will have to submit their bids by December 12 at the latest. The hosts of the Finals will be announced on December 19 in conjunction with the Drawing of Lots for the Playoffs 12 and 6.
The Executive Committee could also review the outcome of two meetings organized to study and determine a vision for the future of the CEV DenizBank Volleyball Champions League. A unique opportunity to involve all stakeholders (i.e. National Federations and leagues, clubs, sponsors, and TV), these meetings have laid the foundations for the European Cups Commission (ECC) to work on a more comprehensive proposal that will be submitted to the CEV Board of Administration in February 2014.
The CEV Executive Committee was particularly pleased with the outcome of the 2013 Beach Volleyball season and also with the calendar already drafted for next year which shows another increase in the number of tournaments and events set to take place in Europe. CEV Vice President and European Beach Volleyball Commission (EBVC) President Renato Arena reported on some ideas that his Commission has been working on during their last meeting held this week, including the proposal to introduce a European Beach Volleyball Indoor Series. A seminar/workshop coming up next week in Milan will be attended by representatives of 47 National Federations and will turn into a unique opportunity to share with the CEV members and their respective Beach Volleyball coordinators the strategy that has been developed and implemented in order to support the growth of this sport across Europe and especially among the young generations. The CEV did also invite National Federations from Northern Africa to attend this seminar as part of an ad-hoc project which is being coordinated by the Italian Volleyball Federation whose aim is to support the development of Volleyball and Beach Volleyball in these countries.
The second edition of the CEV Beach Volleyball Continental Cup leading up to the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro will be joined by a record-breaking number of 44 National Federations, thereby testifying the appeal of this competition whose primary goal is to combine the involvement and participation of as many countries as possible in elite Beach Volleyball with the possibility to qualify one team per gender for the next Olympiad.
Finally, the EXCOM reviewed the state of the preparations and worked on some recommendations and actions to be undertaken so as to guarantee an outstanding organization of the Volleyball and Beach Volleyball events that will be held in Baku in 2015 within the frame of the inaugural European Games.
“With this meeting we drew the line at the end of a very busy year but nevertheless one that we will remember for a long time” CEV President André Meyer says. “We are very proud of what we have achieved but this does not mean we are going to relax or slow down. We have already set ambitious goals also for the coming year and I am particularly pleased to see that we are all committed and united in our intention to work hard for the good of our sport so as to add another chapter to this success story.”