Men’s World Championship to be co-hosted for the first time in history

The FIVB announced today that the 2018 Men’s World Championship will be hosted by two countries for the first time in history. Both Italy and Bulgaria bid to host the competition separately in the first place before deciding to join forces.

MORE: Player in Focus: Maret Balkestein-GrothuesMikhailov disappointed Zenit won’t travel to Turkey

The idea follows CEV Men’s European Championships co-hosted by both countries back in October this year. While the EuroVolley semis and finals were played in Sofia, Bulgaria, Italy will take over the final round at the World Championship in three years.

This will be Italy’s third consecutive engagement in the competition, previously organising Men’s World Championship in 2010 and women’s edition in 2014 – and the fourth in history, with the first competition organised back in 1978. The event will come back to Bulgaria after decades, previously organising both men’s and women’s edition in 1970.

Hosting both Women’s and Men’s World Championship didn’t bring any luck in winning the title to neither Italy nor Bulgaria. In 1970 Bulgaria finished 2nd, after defeat to East Germany, and sixth in women’s edition, while Italy claimed silver in 1978, losing to Soviet Union. In 2010 the team reached the final round but ended out of podium and the women’s team followed same fate in 2014.

Meanwhile Women’s World Championship will come back to Japan, who hosted the event back in 2010.