The Cambodian National Volleyball League (Disabled) is poised for a coveted hat-trick after landing the right to host the biennial World Cup in 2011 for the third time.
“It is an illustrious feather in CNVLD’s cap for being given the honour of staging another World Cup,” said CNVLD Secretary General Christopher Minko. “In the wake of the November 22 tragedy, this mega event the Cambodians have come to relish is the start of a national healing process.”
The decision to allot the 2011 edition to Cambodia was taken at a meeting of the Asian Oceanic Volleyball Development Committee in Malaysia last week. The Egypt-based World Organisation of Volleyball for Disabled has since put its stamp of approval, paving the way for CNVLD to stage the event at the Olympic Stadium in Phnom Penh from July 23 to 29.
All the leading powers in disabled volleyball will be represented at the World Cup and the top six finishers from the previous edition – Germany, Slovakia, Poland, Malaysia, India and hosts Cambodia – have already confirmed their participation, as well as a side from China.
Three more teams, USA, Vietnam and Rwanda are still weighing their options, and the CNVLD expects these teams to finalise their entries soon.
“This is a field as strong as you can get. The world’s best will be here and it is a testimony to CNVLD’s organisational success. The 2009 World Cup was recognised by the WOVD as the most professionally managed event ever. This time we want to go one better,” Minko told the Post yesterday.
“The CNVLD is proud of its track record in management, but we also want to showcase our talents on the court. In 2007, we finished third and 2009 [we placed] fourth. We want to make sure that this will be our World Cup.”
Meanwhile, with three new teams joining the fray, the 13-team national league is set to run from January to May next year.
“The national team selection follows the conclusion of the league, and the World Cup probables will have at least a three month training time for ‘the Big One’. We are not leaving anything to chance,” Minko added.
The CNVLD is bringing in two reputed coaches - Christian Zepp from Germany and Neil Johnson of Canada – to train the national team.
“The two previous World Cups were highly popular; huge crowds turned out for the matches. There was extensive coverage on the television,” said the CNVLD official. “We want to encourage more and more people to witness this spectacle. We are keeping the entry free and expect a full house for every game.”