Qatar had recently beaten Venezuela in the final of a four-nation international tournament in Doha.
The world volleyball championships in 2018 may be split between countries in a move that would stop Russia or Qatar being outright hosts, the international federation president said yesterday.
The International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) will decide in December which country gets the men’s world championships in 2018 and Russia and Qatar are the main candidates. “Qatar has sent us a letter about that,” FIVB president Ary Graca told AFP, confirming the Gulf state’s candidacy.
“We have Russia. We will probably talk to the high authorities there. But we have another plan. Maybe we can do it in two or three countries, different countries,” Graca said.
Poland staged and won this year’s championships which were widely hailed for the record crowds and rock concert atmosphere built up at games.
More than 560,000 people attended the games with about 70,000 people packing the national stadium for the opening game.
“I am very scared, it will be very difficult to hold such a great world championship like they have done in Poland. I am concerned about that,” Graca said.
Officials said the FIVB would look at whether each country has the right venues and capacity to host the world championships before the federation’s sports events council makes a decision in December.
“This is not yet a political decision, there are good sporting reasons to split the event, though everyone can see what is happening in the world,” one member of the council commented.
“There would be nothing to stop either Russia or Qatar being involved,” added the official.
Volleyball is one of the most popular Olympic sports and volleyball tickets were some of the most expensive at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games.
Japan has already been selected to host the 2018 women’s world championships.
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