2018 FIVB Men's World Championship / 2017 CEV Volleyball European Championship - Small Countries Division
World Championship qualification process to start this weekend in Luxembourg.
The European qualification process for the 2018 FIVB Men’s World Championship to be co-hosted by Italy and Bulgaria will start later this week with the first of two first-round qualifiers taking place in Luxembourg. The tournament featuring the national teams of Luxembourg, Northern Ireland and the Faroe Islands coincides also with the qualifying stage of the 2017 CEV Volleyball European Championship – Small Countries Division (SCD). The eventual winners and runners-up of the single round robin will move on to the second stage of the World Championship qualification process as well as secure their progression to the SCD Finals scheduled for next year and due to take place in Iceland.
As many as 42 men’s national teams have registered for the European qualification to the 2018 World Championship, with three – co-hosts Italy and Bulgaria plus 2014 world champions Poland – having already secured their participation in the Final Round.
The tournament coming up this weekend in Luxembourg City is the first of two major events to be organised at the iconic d’Coque, the Grand Duchy’s National Sporting and Cultural Centre, as one week later the ‘Lions’ of Luxembourg (pictured) will be hosting the national teams of Austria, Lithuania and Moldova for the first qualifying round of the ‘big’ European Championship.
Focussing for the time being on the upcoming SCD / World Championship qualifier, it looks like Luxembourg will enjoy much more than just the home advantage following their unprecedented results in what was a memorable 2015 season, including gold at the Games of the Small States of Europe (GSSE) and at a home Final Round of the 2015 SCD European Championship.
The year 2016 extended this success story with Luxembourg topping the final standing – for the first time ever – of the annual Novotel Cup, an international tournament held every year in early January at the same iconic premises of d’Coque.