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DOHA: FIVB yesterday praised the role played by Qatar Volleyball Association (QVA) in promoting the sport in the Middle East, saying the sports-loving country had opened the doors for the rest of the region to try and host similar events.
Beginning today, QVA is hosting the fourth edition of the FIVB Club World Championships for continental giants.
“I have met many people in Abu Dhabi and Dubai and fans from these places have come to watch the FIVB events in Doha,” Theofanis Tsiokris, honorary executive vice-president of FIVB, said yesterday.
“In my opinion, Qatar has opened the doors for other countries to host such big events,” Tsiokris added.
“What Qatar hosts is a world championship for clubs. It is a big event. The only one to be held of its kind in the Arab world.
“If you ask me, there are no negatives from what we have seen in the FIVB events staged in Qatar,” Tsiokris said.
Eight of the top men’s clubs and six of the leading women’s sides, representing five continental zones, are set to compete in the six-day event.
The field for 2012 includes a strong mix of perennial contenders and first-time challengers that should make for exciting and unpredictable results.
Khalid Al Mawlawi, President, QVA, said: “This is the fourth edition of the FIVB Club World Championships and we have come a long way. We have assembled the world’s best talent and given the chance to two of our clubs - Al Rayyan and Al Arabi - rub shoulders with the best players.”
He added: “We have great support from the sponsors, the fans and the organising committee in putting this show together for four successful years.”