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Bulgaria ready to host the Final Round at home

Lausanne, Switzerland, July 2, 2012 – The 2012 FIVB Volleyball World League Finals will have an explosive start on Wednesday as Cuba take on Brazil in Pool F while host Bulgaria will have a shot at revenge for their loss to Germany last Sunday by facing their European rivals in the second match of the opening day in Sofia.

USA will begin their campaign a day later against Germany while Poland will face Brazil in their first match.

The top two teams in each pool will qualify for the semifinals, with the third placed teams finishing fifth and sixth.

All matches will take place at 14:30 and 17:45 GMT.

Poland were the first team to join hosts Bulgaria in Sofia after topping Pool B two weeks ago. They lost just two matches throughout the Intercontinental Round, beating Brazil to top spot by three points.

The next team to join was Cuba, who wrapped up Pool A comfortably, denying defending champions Russia. It was the first time the current World League champions didn’t make the Finals.

Germany then booked their first ever place in the Finals on Saturday as they topped Pool D, eight points ahead of Bulgaria.

Pool C was the tightest of the four groups, with USA just beating France to top spot.

Brazil completed the line-up as the best second-placed team on 26 points, two ahead of France.

This year the World League Intercontinental Round had a revised, compact format, running initially from May 18 to July 1.

While the World League still features 16 teams, for the first time in the tournament’s history the Intercontinental Round was played across four weeks with each country hosting all four teams in their respective pool on one weekend each.

No matter what happens, as Russia 2011 Champion did not qualified for the Final Round that took place last year in Gdansk, Poland (with Argentina reaching for the first time in its life Semi-Finals and ending in fouth place) was eliminated by Cuba, there will be a new champion.