The first edition of the International Volleyball Federation’s (FIVB) men’s Nations League Finals will be held at Stade Pierre Mauroy – the home of French Ligue 1 football club Lille.
The FIVB revealed details of the new national team tournament, which will also feature a women’s equivalent, last year and it is hoped the event will revolutionise the sport and open it up to new audiences.
Lille’s Stade Pierre Mauroy, which opened in 2012, will host the Nations League Finals from July 4-8. The 50,000-seat stadium has hosted high-profile basketball and handball events, and was also one of the host venues during the Uefa Euro 2016 national team football tournament in France.
The men’s Nations League commences on May 25, with five weeks of action to be held before the Lille finale.
Twelve core teams will compete in the men’s event: Brazil, Italy, USA, China, Serbia, France, Argentina, Iran, Poland, Germany, Japan and Russia. Australia, South Korea, Canada and Bulgaria will serve as the designated challengers.
FIVB president Ary Graça said: “Stade Pierre Mauroy reflects our vision for the Volleyball Nations League perfectly. It is an advanced, modern stadium which will give fans an unrivalled experience, whether they are experiencing the atmosphere live or watching at home. The FIVB aims to be at the cutting edge of sport entertainment and we firmly believe that State Pierre Mauroy gives us the perfect platform to achieve this goal.”
French Volleyball Federation president Eric Tanguy added: “Our friends from French basketball, handball and tennis have enjoyed using the venue, and now it is the turn of the French volleyball team which I am certain will up to the event.
“I am sure the French public will be present to support Laurent Tillie’s players in Lille, but also in Rouen and Aix-en-Provence in the two magnificent venues which will welcome those Volleyball Nations League pools. A little over a year before the European Championship takes place in France, these events will also provide us with a full-scale rehearsal.”