The International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) has awarded hosting rights for the inaugural edition of its women’s Nations League Finals to the Chinese city of Nanjing.
The event will take place from June 27 to July 1 at an arena located at the Nanjing Olympic Sports Centre complex. The venue will also host the event in 2019 and 2020.
The 13,000-seat arena was a venue for the 2014 summer Youth Olympic Games and the 2005 National Games of China, while it hosted the FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix Finals last August.
The new Nations League is designed to revolutionise competitive volleyball, with the FIVB hoping that the competition becomes one of the most important events in the sport’s history.
The women’s tournament will be contested by core nations Brazil, Italy, USA, China, Serbia, Netherlands, Thailand, Turkey, South Korea, Germany, Japan and Russia, with Argentina, Dominican Republic, Poland and Belgium having been assigned challenger status.
China is a leading volleyball nation, with its women’s team having won gold at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Jiangsu Authorities director Chen Gang said: “Over the years, Jiangsu Province has been devoted to increasing the popularity and quality of volleyball. In recent years, Nanjing has strongly supported the promotion of volleyball, and in 2017 the city successfully held two elite FIVB events: the U21 World Championship and the FIVB Volleyball Grand Prix Finals.
“In the new year, Nanjing will hold another premier FIVB event – the Women's Volleyball Nations League Finals, giving fans in China another chance to enjoy the unique skill, athleticism and excitement of volleyball.
“With the support of the FIVB, Nanjing’s economic strength and rich sports culture will surely see it become a ‘volleyball city’ with undoubted international influence.”
Earlier this month, the FIVB announced that the inaugural men’s Nations League Finals would be held at Stade Pierre Mauroy, home of French Ligue 1 football club Lille, from July 4-8.
The Nations League is a joint venture between the FIVB, the IMG agency and 21 national federations.