Argentina lands FIVB event amid Iran controversy

The International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) has confirmed that Argentina will host its 2015 Boys’ U19 World Championship, with the South American country defeating a rival bid from Iran, currently at the centre of controversy in the sport.

The news comes after it was reported earlier this week that Iran would not be chosen to host the event amid a dispute over the imprisonment of a British-Iranian woman who tried to attend a men’s volleyball game in Tehran. Iran was amongst three candidates for the FIVB event next year, but Argentina has been confirmed as the host as the federation awarded the rights to a number of its age group events.

The FIVB and its Brazilian president, Ary Graca, has asked Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani to release Ghoncheh Ghavami. The 25-year-old was detained in Tehran in June after trying to attend an Iran-Italy FIVB World League match to protest against a ban on women attending the male-only event. She was sentenced to one year in prison this month for spreading propaganda about Iran’s ruling system. The case has provoked widespread outrage and the Asian Volleyball Confederation’s decision to award Tehran its 2015 Asian Championships has also been questioned.

The Volleyball Age Group World Championships are held every two years, and following a bidding process which was completed on November 7, FIVB has awarded the six tournaments to four of its five member confederations.

The age group World Championship calendar for 2015 will also include the Girls U18 World Championship in Lima, Peru; Women’s U20 World Championship in Limassol & Kato Polemidia, Cyprus; Men’s U21 World Championship in Tijuana and Mexicali, Mexico; Women’s U23 World Championship in Ankara, Turkey and Men’s U23 World Championship in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates.