PARIS – The French volleyball team, which was crowned Olympic champions in Tokyo this summer, inherited a group that grew up in the 2022 World Cup (August 26-September 11 in Russia) with Slovenia and Germany, according to Thursday’s draw in Moscow. .
The Blues’ third opponent is Cameroon in this fourth group, based in Ufa.
It will be a complex group. “We’ve faced three very strong teams, although Cameroon, which we don’t know, will theoretically be less strong,” said Benjamin Toniotti, captain and passer for the Blues. In a press release issued by the French Volleyball Federation (FFVB).
Slovenia has qualified for the finals of three of the last four editions of the European Championship, most recently in September. The Slovenes lost to Italy in the final in Katowice (Poland). During this match, the Italians defeated the Germans in the quarter-finals.
Despite their success (3-1), the Blues had a tough time against the Germans in the group. Then they were abruptly expelled, in the round of 16, by the Czech Republic.
Only the top two from each of the six groups and the top four qualify for the second group stage of the World Cup in Russia.
The European champions were placed in Group E, along with Canada in particular. Two-time world champion Poland was eliminated in Group C along with the United States and Bulgaria.
Russia, the vice Olympic champion and host of the competition, Serbia will be its strongest competitor. Brazil inherited the least 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 crowned in 2015 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.
Ervin Ngabeth and his comrades were surprised to climb to the top of the podium in Japan, after France had not won an Olympic medal.
France’s best result in the World Cup was third place, which France won in 2002.
Group 1 round:
Group A (Moscow): Russia, Serbia, Tunisia, Puerto Rico
Group B (Kemerovo): Brazil, Japan, Cuba, Qatar
Group C (Novosibirsk): Poland, USA, Mexico, Bulgaria
Group D: France, Slovenia, Germany, Cameroon
Group E (Yekaterinburg): Italy, Canada, Turkey, China
Group F (Krasnoyarsk): Argentina, Iran, Netherlands, Egypt
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