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Volleyball: when the Nantes women appeal for their European final to be broadcast on TV

Forever the first. By beating the Turks of Nilüfer Belediye, the Nantes Neptunes made history by becoming the first French team to reach the final of the Challenge Cup, the 3rd European competition behind the Champions League and the CEV Volleyball Cup. They flew through their semi-final by sweeping the Turkish club in the first leg and the second leg (3-0 each time).

“I don’t have too many words, it’s incredible,” says Amandine Giardino, the captain. We have a lot of confidence, our team is strong and if we play our volleyball, it can do it,” hopes the Neptunes libero, who would like to imitate the club’s handball players, crowned in the European League in 2021.

Leader of the Women’s A League, Nantes is in the race for an unprecedented double in the City of Dukes. With four French internationals, the Neptunes have a squad cut out for the European title, which they will try to win from Wednesday February 21 against the Italians of Novara.

To achieve the feat, Nantes will be able to count on their audience, as they will first travel to Italy before receiving, on Wednesday February 28, the semi-finalists of the 2023 Champions League at the Salle de la Trocardière from Rezé, in the Nantes metropolis. 48 hours after her qualification, the player has in any case observed an unprecedented enthusiasm for the club.

An absence of diffuser which is a stain

“In 36 hours, the room of 4,500 people was armored,” relishes the 28-year-old captain. However, the exploits of the Neptunes were reserved only for the supporters present in the stadiums. Due to the lack of a broadcaster, no team match has been broadcast since the start of the tournament. A problem for the visibility of women’s volleyball that the club regrets.

In a press release published this Friday, February 9, the Neptunes launched an appeal to find a broadcaster. A few months before the Olympic Games during which volleyball will be a discipline which could bring medals to France, “the particularly high proportion of mixed broadcasts which show both men’s and women’s sports on the screen is a strong signal for our society,” explains the text.

The Women’s Champions League is broadcast on Eurosport, but its little sister does not have the right to an official broadcaster. Nantes therefore hopes that the final will push television channels to take an interest in their European epic.

“It would be so great for people to see that. For the semi-final, we hoped there would be a link because there was huge enthusiasm, but we had to tell them, no, there is no link. It’s a shame,” recalls the best receiver of the 2021 European Gold League.

And to continue: “For the promotion of volleyball in the year of the Olympics, I think it would send a great message. It would be really amazing to have it broadcast on television so everyone could support us. » The ball is now in the broadcasters’ court.

The solution could come from the Sport channel in France, which broadcasts one match per day of the Women’s League A for free. Amandine Giardino only thinks about the final, which she hopes to win at home before focusing on the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

“It would be exceptional to do it in front of our audience. It’s going to be very hard, but if they leave a door open, we’ll rush in, she explains. There, we won’t be found again and we won’t come down from the cloud, that’s for sure (laughs). We have never been to the Olympics in our lives. The Olympic Games are a special competition where anything can happen, so why not. Why not be Little Thumb who accomplishes an exploit. »

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