The Group 1 finals will be held from July 15-19 and will feature six teams (the host country, top two teams from Pool A and Pool B plus the winner of Group 2) playing off for the title of the 26th edition of the World League, fivb.org reported.
For the first time in the history of the competition, four countries — Australia, Brazil, Iran and Poland — were involved in the bidding process to host the finals.
The confirmation of Rio de Janeiro as the 2015 World League finals host city follows the news that volleyball attracted the most attention for 2016 Olympic Games tickets (27%) ahead of football (21.9%), swimming (21%) and athletics (20.6%) via the Rio Olympics ticketing registration process when it officially opened in January.
The 2015 World League Intercontinental Round features eight countries competing in Group 1 (pools A & B).
In Pool A, host Brazil, which is nine-time winners and 2014 silver medalists, will be joined by Australia, which has been promoted from Group 2, last edition’s bronze medalists Italy and three-times silver medalists Serbia. Iran, world champion Poland, Russia and reigning champion USA will compete in Pool B.
The World League Finals in Brazil will crown what is the biggest and best edition of the competition to date, featuring a record 32 teams. Eight teams participated in the World League’s inaugural year in 1990, 10 in 1991, 12 from 1992-2000 and 2004-5, 16 from 2001-2003 and 2006-2012 and then 19 in the 2013 edition. Last year’s World League saw 28 teams compete for honors and USA defeat Brazil in the Group 1 finals in Florence, Italy.
The 2015 World League Group 2 (pools C, D, E) finals will take place in Bulgaria from July 10 to 11. Four teams will play the Group 3 (pools F, G, H) finals in Slovakia from July 3 to 5.