STA, 16 January 2019 - Slovenia will play along Russia, Finland, Turkey, Macedonia and Belarus in Pool C of the preliminary round of this year's Men's European Volleyball Championship that the country co-hosts in Ljubljana's Stožice Arena, a draw in Brussels determined on Wednesday.
As the co-hosts of the tournament, to be held between 13 and September 29, Slovenia had been put in Pool C, with France getting to host Pool A, Belgium Pool B and the Netherlands Pool D.
Slovenian fans in Stožice Arena will thus have the opportunity to see the defending European champions Russia as they were drawn in Pool C today.
"We certainly did not want Russia, while the other teams are acceptable. I think that we have a good group," Metod Ropret, the head of the Slovenian Volleyball Association, told reporters from Brussels.
Ropret avoided answering the question who will coach Slovenia at the tournament. "We have a coach, but the question is for how long we will have it. More will be known soon," he said referring to the current head coach Slobodan Kovač.
Assistant coach Sebastijan Škorc said in Ljubljana that "the group is attractive, also because of the Russians. Them and us are the favourites of the group."
Top four teams from each of the four groups will advance to the single-match elimination round of 16, with the teams from the Ljubljana group getting opponents from the French group.
It will be the first European championship in volleyball to feature 24 teams. The final match will be played in Paris, while one of the semi-final matches will be played in Ljubljana.
- Preliminary round pools:
France, Italy, Bulgaria, Portugal, Greece, Romania
Belgium, Serbia, Germany, Slovakia, Spain, Austria
Slovenia, Russia, Finland, Turkey, Macedonia, Belarus
Netherlands, Poland, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Ukraine, Montenegro