FIVB President Ary Graça has met with the Minister of Sports of the Russian Federation Pavel Kolobkov to, among other things, ask the country to host the institution’s highest-level competition, the 2022 Men’s World Championship. Graça was very gracious in his compliments to the country:
“Russia has a strong and storied history in volleyball. The latest victory of the men’s national team reaffirms the importance of the sport in the country and Russia is putting great effort into developing volleyball at all levels. The Russia men’s volleyball team continues to impress, this team is very young and strong. Following their historic victory at the VNL Finals in Lille this July, they need to use the momentum and ensure good results at this year’s FIVB World Championships in Italy and Bulgaria, on the road to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.”
He was met with optimism by the Russian minister:
“I hope our guys will perform well at this year’s World Championship and confirm the team’s status of one of the favorites to the tile. As for the possibility of holding international competitions in volleyball in our country, Russia has all the necessary sports infrastructure for organizing events of the highest level. We have a huge number of fans of volleyball, and we are happy to accept such competitions into our country.”
If the FIVB indeed confirms support from Russia, it would be a prestigious move for the institution. Interest in bidding for international tournaments has been at an all-time low since the financial and logistical costs involved in it are very high. Take the women’s tournament for example, in which Japan has hosted 4 of the last 6 editions of the competition, and one would see the problem FIVB is currently involved in. Having Russia host volleyball events would also e lucrative for the FIVB since the country is one of the most successful volleyball powerhouses ever, boosting attendance numbers and ticket sales.