POSTED: August 30th 2014

Poland to showcase volleyball at 2014 FIVB Men's World Championship

62,000 fans are expected for the Opening Match of the Men's World Championship at the National Stadium in Warsaw / FIVB
62,000 fans are expected for the Opening Match of the Men's World Championship at the National Stadium in Warsaw / FIVB

CHAD WISE and LAURA WALDEN in WARSAW / Sports Features Communications

(SFC) The National Stadium in Warsaw, Poland, will host 62,000 fans Saturday, 30 Aug, as the Fédération Internationale de Volleyball Men’s World Championship volleyball tournament kicks off with an opening match between the host nation and Serbia.

FIVB President, Dr. Ary S. Graça, will also outline today some innovations and technology that will be featured at the tournamnent enhancing the match.

The popularity of volleyball in Poland has led tournament organisers to hold the match at the National Stadium, commonly used for football matches with a seating capacity of 62,000. Centennial Hall in Wroclaw, Spodek in Katowice, Ergo Arena in Gdarísk/Sopot, Kraków Arena in Kraków, Atlas Arena in Łódź, and Łuczniczka in Bydgoszcz will host the remaining matches until the tournament concludes with the Final in Katowice 21 Sept.

“I hope that this match will help promote volleyball in Serbia – and throughout the rest of the world,” Serbia Head Coach Igor Kolakovic said. “It will be a spectacle for the fans, and it is a pleasure for us that we have been chosen as Poland’s first opponents.

“Polish fans have always been very fair and polite when my team have played in Poland. They understand the game and respect the opponent. I think in a way there is more pressure in Poland. Their team has to consider the expectations of such a large number of fans in the stadium.”

The attendance record for a volleyball match is 95,000, achieved at Rio de Janeiro’s Maracanã Stadium in 1983. The Brazilians hosted the Soviet Union less than a year after falling to the Soviets in the 1982 World Championship. The Maracanã Stadium recently held the 2014 FIFA World Cup Final, while the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games are also scheduled.

Volleyball’s popularity was also showcased in Brazil in 1984, when more than 60,000 attended a match against Team USA – conqueror of Brazil weeks earlier at the Los Angeles 1984 Summer Olympic Games – at Morunbi Stadium.

The trend of massive crowds at volleyball matches began at the 1949 World Championship in Prague before the 1952 World Championship in Moscow drew 50,000 fans 

“Winning the first game can give the team a great push,” Kolakovic said before calling his own side, Brazil, Russia, Italy, Germany, and Argentina favourites, “but rising after a loss can make the players even stronger.”

Keywords · FIVB · Féderation Internationale de Volleyball · Warsaw · Krakow · Poland · FIVB World Championship · Maracanã Stadium · Brazil · Rio · Rio de Janeiro · FIFA 2014 · FIFA · Rio 2016 · Olympics · Olympic Games ·

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