Egypt and Japan join Canada’s World League Group

 GATINEAU, Que. (January 9, 2013) – Egypt and Japan were added to Canada’s Group for the FIVB World League men’s volleyball tournament which gets underway this May. The Canadian men’s team, which came agonizingly close to qualifying for the Olympics last year, is looking to improve on last season’s 12th place finish.

The FIVB Executive Committee approved the appointment of Japan and Egypt into the 2013 edition of the World League following the ratification of the Sports Events Council’s proposal to expand the World League to 18 teams (three pools of six teams) for the first time in its history during its meeting earlier this month.

Egypt, who last participated in 2010, and Japan, who finished 15th in 2012, will join Pool C which consists of Canada (ranked 18th in the world), South Korea (WR22), Finland (WR31) and the Netherlands (WR41).

Eight teams will qualify for the World League Finals featuring the top three teams from Pools A and B, plus the winner of Pool C and the host country.

The top three world ranked teams in each pool (which includes Canada) will play three matches at home and two away with the bottom three world ranked teams playing twice at home and three times away. Canada will host its matches against Japan, South Korea and the Netherlands and travel to Egypt and Finland.

The World League schedule has not been released. The Intercontinental Round will run from May 31 to July 13 before the Finals, where the venue is expected to be confirmed over the next few weeks, take place from July 16-21.

The Canadians returned to World League play last season for the first time in five years and automatically qualified for 2013 finishing 12th overall with three wins and nine losses. The highlight for Canada was its victory over world number-one Brazil in the opening round in Toronto before more than 8,000 fans. Canada also beat Finland twice in tournament play.