PARIS – The French volleyball team, crowned Olympic champion in Tokyo this summer, inherited a group that grew during the 2022 World Cup (August 26 – September 11 in Russia) with Slovenia and the ‘Germany, according to Thursday’s draw in Moscow. .
The third challenger of the Blues is Cameroon in this group D, based in Ufa.
“It will be a complex group. We met three very strong teams, even if Cameroon, which we do not know, will theoretically be less strong, “said Benjamin Toniotti, captain and passer of the Blues. In a statement released by the French Volleyball Federation (FFVB ).
Slovenia have qualified for the finals of three of the last four editions of the European Championship, the most recent in September. The Slovenes lost to Italy in the final in Katowice (Poland). In this match, the Germans were beaten in the quarterfinals by the Italians.
Despite their success (3-1) the Blues struggled against the Germans in the pool. They were then surprisingly eliminated in the round of 16 by the Czech Republic.
Only the top two from each of the six groups and the top four thirds advance to the second group stage of the World Cup in Russia.
The European champions were placed in Group E, with Canada in particular. Poland, double world champion, is eliminated in group C with the United States and Bulgaria.
Russia, Olympic vice-champion and host of the competition, will have Serbia as the main competitor. Brazil inherited the less difficult group on paper with Japan, Cuba and Qatar.
The World Championships are the last major titles missing from the French men’s team, having been crowned in 2015 at the European Championship, their trophy in 2015 and 2017 in the World League (which became the League of Nations in 2018), and of course their last Olympic gold medal.
Irvin Ngabeth and his friends were surprised to climb to the top step of the podium in Japan, after France had never won an Olympic medal.
France’s best World Cup result was third place, won in 2002.
First round groups:
Group A (Moscow): Russia, Serbia, Tunisia, Puerto Rico
Group B (Kemerovo): Brazil, Japan, Cuba, Qatar
Group C (Novosibirsk): Poland, United States, Mexico, Bulgaria
Group D (Ufa): France, Slovenia, Germany, Cameroon
Group E (Ekaterinburg): Italy, Canada, Turkey, China
Group F (Krasnoyarsk): Argentina, Iran, Netherlands, Egypt
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