European Men’s Draws for 2018 World Championships Announced

The draw for the men’s tournament that will qualify teams through to the 2018 FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Championship have been announced. 36 teams, divided evenly into 6 groups of 6, will vie to compete for 7 total spots still available to Europe for the tournament.

Italy and Bulgaria, as World Championship co-hosts, are both already qualified. Poland, as the defending tournament champions, are also already qualified. The result is that each group winner of the European qualifying will earn a spot automatically at the World Championships, while the 6 group runners-up will go into a Group G that fight for the 7th and final European spot.

Each 6-team group will play a mini tournament from May 23rd-28th, 2017. Every team plays every other team in the group once, and the team that emerges with the best overall record will advance.

The runners-up go to a final qualifier from August 15th-20th.

The Draws:

  • Pool A: France , Germany, Turkey, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Iceland
  • Group B: Netherlands , Slovakia, Greece, Austria, Luxembourg, Moldova
  • Group C: Slovenia , Belgium, Portugal, Latvia, Israel, Georgia
  • Pool D: Estonia , Russia, Montenegro, Romania, Hungary, Kosovo
  • Group E: Croatia , Serbia, Belarus, Denmark, Switzerland, Norway
  • Pool F: Czech Republic , Finland, Spain, Sweden, Cyprus, Northern Ireland

Note: host team is bolded.

Group A, hosted by France, will be the toughest group of the qualifying. It includes World #9 France and World #11 Germany – 2 of the 3 best teams in Europe who are not already qualified for the World Championships. With World #24 Turkey and World #33 Ukraine also in the group, neither of the favored French or German teams will have an easy path to the 2018 Championships.

Europe had 2 of the 3 medal-winning teams (and 4 of the top 5 teams) at the 2014 World Championships, with Poland taking gold at home, Germany earning bronze, France placing 4th, and Russia 5th; but came away with just one medal from the Rio Olympics – a silver from Italy.

Aside from the 3 pre-qualified European sides, Brazil is the only other team to qualify so far as the 2015 CSV Champions. Africa gets 3 spots, Asia gets 4, North America gets 5, and South America still has 1 slot available.

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