FIVB World Cup Brazil will return to Japan as they look to defend the FIVB World Cup

FIVB News: Lausanne, Switzerland, September 30, 2011 – Ten of the 12 teams due to compete at the FIVB World Cup 2011 – the first qualifying event for volleyball at the 2012 Olympic Games – have been determined following the completion of the Africa and Asia continental championships on Thursday.  The two wild cards teams will be announced by the FIVB on Tuesday.

The qualifying process for the tournament due to be held in Japan from November 20 to December 4 consists of the hosts being joined by the five continental championship winners, the best four out of the five runners up and two wild-cards.
FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Cup 2011 Qualified Teams
Team                    Qualification Method                                                          World Ranking as of Jan 15, 2011
Japan                   Hosts                                                                                         14
Brazil                   South American Championship winner                               1
Serbia                  Europe Championship winner                                               3
Cuba                    NORCECA Championship winners                                        4
USA                      NORCECA Championship runners up                                   5
Italy                     Europe Championship runners up                                        6
Argentina          South American Championship runners up                         8
China                  Asia Championship runners up                                             11
Egypt                  Africa Championship winner                                                   13
Iran                    Asia Championship winner                                                     19

Asia champions Iran, runners up China and Africa winners Egypt joined defending champions and South America champions Brazil and silver medalists Argentina, NORCECA title holders Cuba and runners up USA and Europe champions Serbia and silver medalists Italy at the World Cup after a spectacular final day at their respective continental tournaments. World Cup hosts Japan qualify automatically.

On the final day of the Men’s African Nations Championship in Tangier, Morocco, Egypt saw off Cameroon 3-1 (20-25, 28-25, 25-20, 25-22) in the final. Cameroon still had a narrow chance of qualifying for the World Cup as one of the four best Continental championship runners-up, however Iran’s first ever AVC title – courtesy of a 3-1 (22-25, 25-18, 25-19, 25-16) win over China in front of their home fans in Tehran – booked their ticket to Japan. With the four highest continental runners-up being decided via the FIVB Men’s Senior World Ranking as it stood on January 15, Cameroon narrowly missed out as they sat six places below their Asian counterparts.

Cuba were the first team to join hosts Japan at the World Cup as they held off USA on September 3 in a thrilling NORCECA Championship final, winning 3-2 (25-23, 29-27, 25-27, 19-25, 15-8). USA were also guaranteed World Cup qualification thanks to their world ranking of five.

Focus then turned to Europe as Serbia sealed a come-from-behind 3-1 (17-25, 25-20, 25-23, 26-24) victory over Italy on September 18 to clinch their first ever European Championship title. But Italy qualified in similar fashion to USA as their position in the standings meant they also earned a ticket to Japan.

Brazil picked up gold at the South American Championship to become the next side to directly qualify for the World Cup as they saw off long-time rivals Argentina 3-1 (25-20, 19-25, 25-23, 25-21) on September 25.

Defending champions Brazil as well as USA, Argentina, Japan and Egypt are the only five teams to return to the World Cup after competing in the 2007 edition. China and Italy return after participating in 2003, with Serbia also returning after competing as Serbia and Montenegro in 2003. Meanwhile, Cuba are welcomed back for the first time since 1999 and Iran return after a 20-year absence, their last outing coming in 1991.

The 10 teams for the FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Cup are expected to be announced on Monday following the completion of the European and South America continental championships on Sunday.

The Drawing of Lots for the men’s and women’s World Cup, where the medalists will earn a coveted berth at the London 2012 Olympic Games, will take place in Tokyo, Japan on Wednesday. The 12 teams will be split into two pools of six, with each competing against each other in the first and second rounds before facing off against teams in the opposite group in the third and fourth rounds.

The FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Cup 2011 will be its 11th edition having been established in 1965. It became a qualifying event for the Olympic Games in 1991 ahead of the Barcelona Games and since then has been traditionally the first Olympic Games qualifying event for volleyball. Russia/USSR have been the most successful team, clinching gold in 1965, 1977, 1981, 1991 and 1999. Brazil have two titles to their name, winning in 2003 and 2007, while Italy, Cuba and East Germany have all won the title once. Since 1977 Japan has proudly hosted the competition and, as a result, are the only team to have competed in every edition, their best finish coming in both 1969 and 1977 when they claimed the silver medal.

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