FIVB president praises Iran’s performance in World League

An Iranian player (in white) blocks a volley by a German player in a 2013 FIVB World League match at the Azadi Sports Complex in western Tehran on July 12, 2013.

TEHRAN, Aug.20 (MNA) – International Volleyball Federation President Ary Graca has praised Iran’s performance in the FIVB 2013 World League.

Debutant Iran finished in ninth place in the FIVB 2013 World League, while Russia won the title for the third time.

“Iran played very admirably in the World League. With legendary coach Julio Velasco in charge, Iran made an outstanding debut in the FIVB’s premier annual men’s event. Iran seems to be heading in the right direction and is seriously becoming a force to be reckoned with on the international stage,” Graça said in a recent interview with the Tehran Times.

“It was a shame Iran didn’t reach the World League Finals. They certainly gave it a good try but their result of ninth on debut was outstanding. Their performance with the same number of wins and losses as Serbia and Germany was also impressive,” the FIVB president added.

“Seyed Mohammad Mousavi Eraghi and Amir Ghafour were performing superbly in both scoring and blocking. Iran’s future looks very good with these players,” Graça noted.

When asked can Iran have more home games during the next edition, Graca said, “The format of the 2013 World League was used first time. Countries with the higher world rankings had the advantage of playing at home six times while the lower ranked nations played at home four times. We will review the entire format to evaluate what was successful and what wasn’t and see what we take into the edition of 2014.”

Velasco, the Iran coach, has said he wants Iran to host World League finals. The FIVB president said, “Why not. Any country wishing to host the World League Finals can apply but must fulfill the criteria which the FIVB sets out, ensuring minimum standards but there is no reason why Iran can’t apply to host criteria one of the FIVB’s most prestigious tournaments.”

Praising the Iranian fans during the FIVB 2013 World League, Graça said, “The Iranian public are very passionate people and provide excellent support for their team. Iran seems to be up with the some of the best nations in the world. These kinds of supports can help others become interested in our game.”

Richard Baker, the director of the FIVB press department, helped the Tehran Times in conducting this interview.

By Mehr News Agency


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