By Laman Ismayilova
The Drawing of Lots for the Final Round of 2017 Women's European Volleyball Championship was held at the Heydar Aliyev Centre on November 25.
For the first time in history, Azerbaijan and Georgia will host such kind of Volleyball competition, Azertac reported.
The ceremony was presented by Leyla Aliyeva, one of Azerbaijan’s most famous TV hosts. Representatives of the country’s authorities, including Azerbaijan’s First Deputy Prime Minister, Mr Yaqub Eyyubov attended the event.
Eyyubov, addressing the event, spoke about the history of volleyball in Azerbaijan.
"This European Championship is further proof to the trust shown by international sports organizations towards our country, which has successfully hosted a number of major events,” he said.
In his speech, President of the European Volleyball Confederation (CEV) Aleksandar Boricic thanked governments for their support.
"I would like to thank both governments for their support and the two National Federations for the great cooperation. Our goal is to deliver a great Volleyball event and I am sure that the 2017 Women’s Euro Volley will turn into a great success for our sport. I expect a great performance by all participating teams and wish everyone the best of luck and much health to all players", he added.
The tournament set to commence on September 22 and the new European champions to be eventually crowned on October 1, 2017.
The composition of the four preliminary Pools reads as follows:
Pool A in Baku: Azerbaijan, Germany, Poland, Hungary
Pool B in Tbilisi: Georgia, Italy, Croatia, Belarus
Pool C in Baku: Russia, Turkey, Bulgaria, Ukraine
Pool D in Ganja – Goygol: Serbia, Netherlands, Belgium, Czech Republic
Hosts Azerbaijan and Georgia were seeded as headers of Pool A and B, respectively. The organizers chose reigning European champions Russia and Rio 2016 Olympic silver medalists Serbia to head Pool C and D, respectively.
Twenty remaining participating teams were drawn by Azerbaijan’s Volleyball stars Oksana Kurt (Parkhomenko) and Valeriya Mammadova (Korotenko) across the four pools as per the latest European ranking which was released earlier this summer.
The winners of the four pools will progress straight to the quarterfinals, whereas the second and third-placed teams will be playing Playoff matches (2nd Pool A vs 3rd Pool C, 2nd Pool C vs. 3rd Pool A, 2nd Pool B vs. 3rd Pool D, 2nd Pool D vs. 3rd Pool B).
After the quarter-finals, the competition will continue with the semis and medal matches that will crown the new ‘queens’ of European Volleyball.
Volleyball has become a favorite sport in the middle of the last century in Azerbaijan.
The formation of volleyball in the country dates back to 1926. After regaining the independence in 1992, the country began to participate at international competitions with own national team.
The Azerbaijan Volleyball Federation was established in the country in 1992.