Baku, November 24, AZERTAC
The Drawing of Lots for the Final Round of the 2017 CEV Volleyball European Championship – Women has today been held at the Heydar Aliyev Centre in Azerbaijan’s capital Baku. Azerbaijan and Georgia will be hosting a Volleyball competition of this calibre for the first time in history, with the tournament set to commence on September 22 and the new European champions to be eventually crowned on October 1, 2017.
The composition of the four preliminary Pools reads as follows:
Pool A in Baku: Azerbaijan, Germany, Poland, Hungary
Pool B in Tbilisi: Georgia, Italy, Croatia, Belarus
Pool C in Baku: Russia, Turkey, Bulgaria, Ukraine
Pool D in Ganja – Goygol: Serbia, Netherlands, Belgium, Czech Republic
Hosts Azerbaijan and Georgia were seeded as headers of Pool A and B, respectively; the organisers chose reigning European champions Russia and Rio 2016 Olympic silver medallists Serbia to head Pool C and D, respectively.
The 12 remaining participating teams were drawn by Azerbaijan’s Volleyball stars Oksana Kurt (Parkhomenko) and Valeriya Mammadova (Korotenko) across the four pools as per the latest European ranking which was released earlier this summer, making sure that – according to the official Competitions Regulations – the 2015 gold and silver medallists, Russia and the Netherlands, would not end up in one and the same pool.
The winners of the four pools will progress straight to the quarterfinals, whereas the second and third-placed teams will be playing Playoff matches (2nd Pool A vs 3rd Pool C, 2nd Pool C vs. 3rd Pool A, 2nd Pool B vs. 3rd Pool D, 2nd Pool D vs. 3rd Pool B). After the quarter-finals, the competition will continue with the semis and medal matches that will crown the new ‘queens’ of European Volleyball.
The Drawing of Lots ceremony presented by Leyla Aliyeva, one of Azerbaijan’s most famous TV hosts, was attended by some of the highest national authorities of the two host countries, including Azerbaijan’s First Deputy Prime Minister, Mr Yaqub Eyyubov.
Mr Eyyubov reviewed the history of Volleyball in Azerbaijan pre- and post the country’s independence, recalling the leading role played by the late State President Heydar Aliyev in the development of the game in Azerbaijan. “This European Championship is further testament to the trust shown by international sports organisations towards our country which has successfully hosted a number of major events following the vision of Azerbaijan’s Head of State, President Ilham Aliyev. On top of this, the organisation of this tournament in close cooperation with the CEV and our neighbours from Georgia will yield terrific results for the long-term growth of Volleyball in the years to come.”
CEV President Aleksandar Boricic said: “I would like to thank both governments for their support and the two National Federations for the great cooperation. Our goal is to deliver a great Volleyball event and I am sure that the 2017 women’s EuroVolley will turn into a great success for our sport. I expect a great performance by all participating teams and wish everyone the best of luck and much health to all players.”