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Men's Volleyball Club World Championship makes historic debut in Bengaluru

Ahmedabad Defenders set to make history as the first Indian team to compete at the Men’s Volleyball Club World Championship in India


Srajan Shetty, Wilfredo Leon, Wallace De Souza, Dr. DG Chowdhary, Aleksandar Boricic, Tuhin Mishra, Lucas Loh and Nimir Abdelaziz.


The Bridge Desk

Updated: 6 Dec 2023 5:02 AM GMT

Bengaluru is all set for the Men's Volleyball Club World Championship 2023. This is the first time in the history of Indian volleyball that an event of this scale is taking place in India.

Ahead of the five-day volleyball extravaganza that begins on Wednesday at the Koramangala Indoor Stadium, representatives of all six teams and key organisers addressed a press conference at the Renaissance Hotel in Bengaluru.

Adding to this milestone moment for Indian volleyball is the participation of the reigning champion of the Prime Volleyball League Ahmedabad Defenders, with the Indian stars getting an opportunity to rub shoulders with the best of the world, as they vie for the trophy.

Srajan Shetty, the Karnataka lad who will play for Ahmedabad Defenders, spoke on the importance of the Volleyball Club World Championship, “It is an immense privilege and matter of pride for us to participate in the Men's Volleyball Club World Championship on home soil. This tournament not only provides us with a golden opportunity play with the best players in the world but also to showcase the true potential of Indian Volleyball.”

Apart from the Ahmedabad Defenders will feature reigning champion Sir Safety Susa Perugia from Italy, the formidable Brazilian club of Sada Cruzeiro Volei, who are four-time winners of the tournament, Minas Tenis Clube (Ittambe Minas) making their third appearance in the competition, following a fourth-place finish last year. Also debuting this year will be Japan's Suntory Sunbirds Club and Turkey's Halkbank Spor Kulubu.

Sharing his thoughts on his team’s prospects in the tournament, Wilfredo Leon, captain of Sir Safety Susa Perugia, remarked, “We come here with a lot of expectations and a positive energy to retain the title. I have played this tournament many times and to win it again would be huge for our team, especially to win it in India. There are so many big stars at this tournament, and it is a great way to show volleyball is growing not just in Europe and USA but in India as well. I hope this is something future generation can aspire towards.”

FIVB's second Executive VP and CEV President, Aleksandar Boricic expressed his delight in bringing the tournament to India, “We are extremely happy to be in India for this tournament. Despite India being such a big country, it does not have enough exposure at the highest level of volleyball. I would like to take this opportunity to ask everybody to support this game and its growth in India.”

Tuhin Mishra, Managing Director and Co-Founder of Baseline Ventures, also underscored the significance of the competition. He said, “I’d like to extend my gratitude to FIVB for giving us this opportunity. We are truly excited to host this landmark event in India. We will be hosting the title next year as well and this is a great opportunity for our Indian players to go up against the best players in the world and get the exposure they need. It’s a huge achievement for the entire RuPay Prime Volleyball League as well as we have all worked together to achieve this milestone."

The tournament will commence on December 6 at the Koramangala Indoor Stadium. Ahmedabad Defenders will find themselves in Pool A, facing the defending champions, Sir Sicoma Perugia from Italy, and Brazil’s Minas Tenis Clube (Itambe Minas). In Pool B, Halkbank Spor Kulübü from Turkey, Sada Cruzeiro Volei from Brazil, and Japan’s Suntory Sunbirds are grouped.

The match tickets are live and can be purchased at BookMyShow.

The Men’s Volleyball Club World Championship 2023 will be telecast live in India on Sony Sports Network across Sony Ten 1 and Sony Ten 3 channels and the broadcast will be shown globally on Volleyball World. Fans in India can also stream the tournament online on FanCode.

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