2015 Men's Volleyball European Championship Begins in Bulgaria, ItalySports | October 9, 2015, Friday // 10:00| views
Photo: Facebook page of EuroVolley
The 29th edition of the men's volleyball European Championship begins in Bulgaria and Italy on Friday.
The final round of the tournament, which will last between October 9 and 18, is hosted by four cities – Sofia and Varna in Bulgaria and Turin and Busto Arsizio in Italy.
A total of sixteen teams are split into four groups with four teams each.
Group A is composed of co-host Bulgaria, Germany, the Czech Republic and the Netherlands, while the other co-host Italy together with the teams of France, Croatia and Estonia make up Group B.
The reigning world champion Poland, Belgium, Belarus and Slovenia are the teams in Group C, while the reigning European champion Russia together with teams of Serbia, Slovakia and Finland will compete in Group D.
The matches from Group A will take place in the Arena Armeec hall in Sofia, the teams from Group B will compete in Pala Vela in Turin, Group C is hosted by the Palace of Culture and Sport in Varna, while Pala Yamamay in Busto Arsizio is the venue for the encounters from Group D.
The four winners from each group will qualify directly for the quarterfinals, while the teams occupying second and third place in the final standing in each group will face each other in the play-offs.
The play-offs together with the quarterfinals are hosted by Sofia and Busto Arsizio.
The semifinals together with the third place match and the final will be hosted by the Arena Armeec hall in the Bulgarian capital.
In their opening match on Friday, co-host Bulgaria will face Germany in a match that will to a large extent determine which of the two teams will qualify directly for the quarterfinals.
The two teams last played against each other in the final of the First European Games in Baku in June when Germany won 3:1.
The match, which will take place in the Arena Armeec hall in Sofia, begins at 20.30 EET and will be broadcasted live on the Bulgarian National Television (BNT).
All matches taking place in Bulgaria will be broadcasted live by BNT on its BNT 1 and BNT HD channels.