2018 FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Championship
Legendary coach Julio Velasco is about to compete at his 5th World Championship. He won it all in 1990 and 1994 as the leader of the most successful Italian volleyball dynasty ever, while also participating as Spain and Argentina’s head coach. This edition of the tournament will have a special flavor for the Argentine-born Italian coach, since he’ll face Italy in the Pool stage of the competition. Regardless, he was adamant in letting everyone know his harsh opinion of FIVB’s formula for the competition (volleyball.it):
“This event has a formula designed for the best ranked teams to reach the Final 6. Thus, our first game with Belgium is decisive, if we lose it, we’ll hardly make it to the second round. Still, in the second round, the pool’s third seed have only a remote chance of advancing, while the fourth seed will have zero chance. I understand this was done to avoid teams losing games to convenience (Velasco is talking about the Brazil x Bulgaria fiasco in 2010 when Brazil lost on purpose to gain a favorite draw), but we will still see teams with players in the court without motivation.
The FIVB cares more about the “seven sisters”: Brazil, Italy, Russia, United States, France, Poland and Serbia, From a merely sporting point of view it is not beautiful, but this is a wider discussion. The FIVB tries to imitate the marketing of the NBA to promote volleyball, but in doing so it suffocates the other leagues.”
The FIVB has been of the volleyball community recently due to its questionable scheduling and draw formats. Just how long can the institution keep this up before coaches decide that they have had enough?