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Presidents of Italy and Bulgaria attend opening matches

Rome, Italy and Varna, Bulgaria, September 11, 2018 - President of the Italian Republic, Sergio Mattarella, and President of Bulgaria, Rumen Radev, joined thousands of fans to watch their respective nations begin the 2018 FIVB Men’s Volleyball World Championship with a win. Jointly hosted by Italy and Bulgaria, the Championship’s opening matches involving both home teams drew capacity crowds as well as high ranking officials.

President Mattarella was guest of honour as co-hosts Italy got their 2018 campaign off to the perfect start with a 3-0 victory over Japan. Alongside FIVB President Dr Ary S. Graša F░, Italian National Olympic Committee President Giovanni Malag˛, President of the Italian Volleyball Federation Pietro Bruno Cattaneo and many more national and international dignitaries, President Mattarella joined the 11,170-strong partisan crowd at the Foro Italico in Rome.

And in Varna last night, President Radev was joined by his Minister for Sport, Krasen Kralev, in the Palace of Culture and Sport, where Bulgaria scored a 3-0 win over Finland.

The presence of such influential figures at the Men’s World Championship highlighted the true value and excitement of the sport, and the FIVB once again demonstrated its innovative approach to growing the sport by engaging the crowd and creating an amazing atmosphere in spectacular venues.

Following the two opening night fixtures, President Ary Graša said:

“What an incredible night and an amazing start to the Men’s World Championship. Both our hosts gave their fans something to cheer about long into the night, and I have no doubt we are in for another exhilarating event!”

The finals will take place in Turin, Italy, from 26-30 September.