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Marte Hoffiz makes fruitful visit to Havana


HAVANA, Cuba, January 26, 2017 – NORCECA President Cristóbal Marte Hoffiz of Dominican Republic said the volleyball confederation will prorate the support to Cuba to recover the legend of Las Morenas del Caribe, “winners of three consecutive Olympic gold medals, a feat that no other country has been able to match.”


He rated as very positive the visit to Havana that included meetings with José Ramón Fernández and Antonio Becali, presidents of the Cuban Olympic Committee and INDER, respectively, as well as member of the FCV, coaches, referees and sport celebrities, among others.


Marte Hoffiz said that personally and on behalf of NORCECA he expressed “our sympathy for the passing of Commander Fidel Castro and our admiration for the Cuban leader as it was expressed by the people of my country when visited massively and spontaneously the Cuban Embassy.”


The First Executive Vice President of FIVB commented in a press conference the different topics discussed to continue the close and coordinated work between NORCECA and FCV ahead of the new Olympic cycle 2017-2020.


“To start this year two new courts will be provided and in 2018 will arrive one as minimum to improve the conditions at the National School as well as to guarantee the supply of sport equipment for other territories in the country,”, he said.


The FCV will receive 200 volleyballs as well as 100 for Mini-Volley, a key for the development of the game as the basic level, while everything is guaranteed for the competitions to take place in Cuba.


“This is to acknowledge the work done by the Federation not only at the national level but at the continental level, the players are improving as it shows with the qualification of the women’s and men’s U23 teams and the male U19 to the respective world championships,” he said.


He also mentioned the possibility of a ticket to the women’s U20 world championship, whose final qualification tournament will be in Costa Rica, and the U18 in Havana at the end of March where two vacancies will be on task. The other squad with aspirations to a world ticket is the men’s U21.


In 2015 Cuba advanced to six world championship of these age groups and will continue to battle to repeat that excellent achievement.

“That is very important, the age group categories are the ones marking the future of the development of the sport and the ones who guarantee the formation of senior national teams as the other 40 countries of NORCECA are doing, and Cuba will receive the necessary support to continue moving on,” he stated.


He praised the contribution the Cuban technicians are offering in other nations, in volleyball and beach volleyball, the development of low level and grass root.


“They transmit their knowledge at technical and organizational level, and we are grateful for that and hope that will continue, also in small territories, because they have the right to develop volleyball as Guadeloupe, Martinique, Curacao and St Martin, among others.”


“For the first time Cuba will send to Dominican Republic one sport medicine doctor, well experienced as Dr. Julio Miñoso, who will help a lot in the next four years to elevate the physical conditions of our players, something we need badly,” he pointed out.


In the last four years, Cuba has hosted several NORCECA events, a fact that satisfy the continental volleyball leader.


“This will be the U18 Pan American Cup from March 26 to April 2, that will offer two tickets to teams for NORCECA and one to South America with nine teams interested in taking part, including Argentina, already qualified, but the maximum quota is nine,” he said.


Even though the beach volleyball is not confirmed yet, there are host countries who already have confirmed including Varadero, Cuba from July 12 to 16, that secures a massive participation since will take place just before the world championship where Cuba hopes to qualify, now with better possibilities after the announcement made by Ariel Sainz, president of FCV, that the main male pair will participate in six stages of the world tour.


Marte announced proposal of changes in the competition format of the Pan American Senior Cups that offers tickets to the World League (Men) and Grand Prix (Women) that can be of benefit since in the same weekend elimination tournaments by groups would be held, depending on the world ranking.


He informed that the qualification system for the 2020 Olympic Games will have some changes but reserving the tickets to the host country, the two top teams of the World Cup, the champions of the five continental tournaments and the 2018 world champions.


The innovation propounds a new way to complete the 12 participants per gender, with three different elimination tournaments of four teams each with the three winners also making the journey to Tokio.


“I think that is a more fair system, because it concedes value to the world ranking, with the right distribution of teams that were not able to qualify in the previous competitions,” he said.