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the project to integrate China into the French Championship must “be reworked”

The Chinese team was to join League A for two seasons in order to prepare for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris. A project that will not materialize for 2022-23 but is not definitively buried.

The project to integrate the Chinese national team into League A, the French Men’s Volleyball Championship, must “be reworked“, which compromises its achievement for the 2022-23 season, French volleyball officials explained to AFP on Friday. “The ministry does not like all the elements of our project and would like us to change some of them“Said the president of the National Volleyball League (LNV), Yves Bouget, after a meeting with the Minister of Sports, Amélie Oudéa-Castéra. “Insofar as we are asked to completely rework (rework, editor’s note) a project, even to distort it, it is clear that next season, there will be no team from China in our championship“, he estimated.

According to the initial project, unveiled in early July, the Chinese team, 17th in the world rankings, was to join League A for two seasons and take up residence in a French city to be defined, in order to prepare for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.

French Volleyball Federation (FFVB) President Eric Tanguy, who also attended the meeting at the Ministry of Sports, insisted that “the minister did not veto». «She asked that we be able to review the balance of the project: two years was perhaps too short. We have to see if there is not the possibility of working over four or even five years“, he explained, referring to “exchanges that would extend to the women’s team and the youth teams».

2 million euro

While he had hitherto refused to mention the amount of compensation that the Chinese Volleyball Federation would pay, the boss of the LNV revealed that he had “planned for 2022/2023 the two million (euros) that China was to pay us». «The Professional Volleyball League receives zero public money from the ministry“, remarked Yves Bouget. “I understand his disappointmentadded Eric Tanguy. The prospect of resizing the project does not please him and marks a small delay which does not suit him, but the project is not buried». «We’re running out of time (…) It’s a shame that China didn’t make its request in January, we wouldn’t be there“, recognized the president of the FFVB.

The 2022-23 League A season is due to start on September 30. While waiting for an integration for the 2023-24 season, Eric Tanguy hopes, “we can imagine that the Chinese make friendly or gala matches against French clubs, this would be a first stage of integration».

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