Russia had been due to stage the FIVB Men's World Championship before it was moved to Poland and Slovenia ©Getty Images

Volleyball Federation of Russia (VFV) secretary general Alexander Yaremenko has accused the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) of having "changed its position" in refusing to provide compensation for the moving of this year's Men's World Championship.

A Swiss civil court is set to hear the VFV's claims for $80 million (£64,600/€75,100) in compensation later this month, after the event was moved from Russia to Poland and Slovenia because of the invasion of Ukraine.

Yaremenko claimed that the FIVB had reversed its stance on providing compensation to Russia for the moving of the tournament.

"Initially, the position of the FIVB was that the World Championships were cancelled due to force majeure," he told Russian official state news agency TASS.

"If the Championship is cancelled, half of the entry fee is returned to the applicant.

"Of the $40 million (£32.3 million/€37.6 million) that Russia paid, $20 million (£16.2 million/€18.8 million) must be returned.

"But after that, the FIVB changed its position, because they incurred additional costs for hosting this World Championship and, as far as I understand, they faced great difficulties in order to hold it at all.

"In Russia, they could make money, but here they need to hold World Championship, so as not to lose image.

"They changed their position, and now Russia can become the guilty party of this cancellation, and not force majeure."

An FIVB spokesperson said that the governing body "does not comment on matters that may be the subject of legal proceedings", but "we would like to note that the FIVB has always been upfront and consistent in our discussions with the Russian Volleyball Federation".

The Men's Volleyball World Championship was won by Italy.

Russia, who would have competed under the VFV name due to anti-doping sanctions, were blocked from participating following the invasion of Ukraine.

Italy won the Men's Volleyball World Championship held in Poland and Slovenia ©Volleyball World
Italy won the Men's Volleyball World Championship held in Poland and Slovenia ©Volleyball World

Ukraine took their place as the next highest ranked team.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) recommended that athletes and officials from Russia and Belarus do not participate in international sport following the invasion, and urged International Federations not to stage events in either country.

Russia had previously been banned from hosting major events for the duration of anti-doping sanctions which are due to expire on Saturday (December 17), although the FIVB was able to secure an exemption from the World Anti-Doping Agency for its Men's World Championship on the grounds of it being "legally or practically impossible" to move the event.

The IOC declared after last week's Olympic Summit that it would follow up an Olympic Council of Asia proposal for Russian and Belarusian athletes to return to competition at its events.

Yaremenko cautiously welcomed the proposal, which has drawn significant criticism in Ukraine.

"If there is an opportunity to consider the admission of Russian teams, this opportunity will be used," he told TASS.

"We will make every effort, but it will be very difficult to predict what the situation will be like in a year."

However, he added that the VFV does not intend to move to the Asian Volleyball Confederation from the European Volleyball Confederation.