February 5 - The International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) has secured an eight-year extension of its exclusive marketing, tournament organising and television rights deal with the Japan Volleyball Association (JVA) and Fuji TV to cover the 2015 and 2019 FIVB Volleyball World Cups.
Having hosted the quadrennial Olympic Games qualification tournament since 1977, Japan has seen the competition grow to become the sport's second-most important event behind the FIVB World Championships and the nation hopes its success will continue with the news of the extended partnership.
"The World Cup plays an integral role in the Olympic qualification process and is a very important tournament for volleyball all round so we are delighted to be able to continue the tradition of holding the event in Japan," FIVB President Ary Graça (pictured top, front, right) said.
"This agreement ensures that one of volleyball's most famous tournaments continues to be staged in one of the sport's most popular countries, whilst extending our extraordinary friendship with Fuji TV."
The World Cup is also FIVB's second oldest competition, with the men's edition dating back to 1965 when it was held in Warsaw, Poland while the women's goes back to 1973 when it took place in Montevideo, Uruguay, before the event moved to Japan on a permanent basis.
The proud volleyball nation of Japan also holds the title of being the only team to have competed at every tournament, besides Korea in the women's edition.
"We are very pleased to be able to host the FIVB World Cup for the 11th time," JVA President Taizaburo Nakano (pictured top, front, left) said.
"It is a great honour to have the opening Olympic qualification process in Japan and to continue our collaboration with the FIVB and Fuji TV."
The 2015 FIVB Volleyball World Cup will be the first Olympic volleyball qualification event for Rio 2016, with two berths up for grabs.
The event, which is set to run from August 21 to September 23, will feature 12 teams - the hosts, the 2014 world champions and two countries per confederation either via a continental tournament or the highest ranked countries from the continental FIVB rankings.
The 10 remaining Olympic places will include one team from each of the five confederations, coming from the 2015 continental championships or a continental Olympic qualification tournament to be played after the 2015 World Cup; and one team from each of four world Olympic qualifications tournaments due to take place in 2016; while the host country, Brazil, automatically gain a place.
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