Bulgaria to co-host 2018 men’s volleyball world championship with Italy
Bulgaria and Italy signed the contract to co-host the next world volleyball championships in 2018 at a ceremony in Lausanne on December 9, the Bulgarian Sports Ministry said. This will be Bulgaria’s first time hosting the event, although the country did host the women’s world championship in 1970.
Sports Minister Krassen Kralev attributing the selection as co-host to the Bulgarian federation’s efforts, backed by the Cabinet, as well as the country’s success in co-hosting the European men’s championship, also with Italy, earlier this year. Bulgaria and Italy won against competition from a joint German-Polish bid, as well as bids from the US and Iran.
Volleyball is popular in Bulgaria, ranking second only to football among team sports, and the men’s team has been among the world’s top-ranked for decades, reaching the semi-finals in three of the last four European championships. The country’s best finish in the world championship was as a runner-up in 1970, but the team also finished third on four occasions, most recently in 2006.
For Italy, it will be the third time it hosts the event and the country also won three titles during the 1990s, when its team dominated the sport on the men’s side. The organisational details of the next world championships are expected to be agreed in January, at a meeting of FIVB, the sport’s world governing body.