Iran Volleyball Grouped With Poland, Host Bulgaria

Poland is the hardest rival for Iran since the European powerhouse holds the third place in the world, but the rest of the teams in Pool D may not pose any serious threat as they stand below Iran in the ranking
Iran national volleyball teamIran national volleyball team

Iran national volleyball team knows its group mates for 2018 FIVB Men’s World Championship co-hosted by Italy and Bulgaria, September 20-30, 2018.

According to, the draw for the event took place in Florence, Italy, on December 1. National teams of Bulgaria, Poland, Cuba, Finland and Puerto Rico share Pool D with Iran.

In the other groups, Italy, Argentina, Japan, Belgium, Slovenia and Dominican Republic are placed in Pool A.

Pool B consists of world No. 1, Brazil as well as Canada, France, Egypt, China and the Netherlands. Canada and France hold sixth and ninth places in the ranking.

In Pool C, there are world No. 2, the US and Russia (fifth in the world) which will make it difficult for Serbia, Australia, Tunisia and Cameroon to pass through the group stage and make it to the next level.

A total of 24 teams will play in nine venues. Six of the venues are in Italy and the rest in Bulgaria. ‘Pala Alpitour’, an indoor sports arena in Turin, Italy, will host the six final matches.

It is the first time in the history of the game that two countries are co-hosting the games.

  No Tough Pool

Iran volleyball has improved considerably over the past decade and has entered world class tournaments with great performances honored with titles and medals. Currently Iran is ranked eighth in the world according to the FIVB world rankings (as of July 2017).

Poland is the hardest rival for Iran since the European powerhouse holds third place in the world. But the rest of the teams in Pool D may not pose any serious threat to Iranians as they stand below Iran in the list. The host Bulgaria is ranked 12th, Cuba is 16th, Finland sits on 18th position while Puerto Rico is 29th.

Although Iran has overpowered Poland in the past, generally Poland has been the superior team compared to Iran. Out of 16 encounters, Iran won only in five matches and lost the other 11 games to its powerful rival.

The history of Iran games with Bulgaria is short. Having faced in only three matches, Bulgaria won the first two in 1970 and 2006; however, in their recent encounter in 2016, Iran beat  the Bulgarians.

Cuba and Iran have played seven times at different tournaments in which Iran’s share of victories was three and Cuba’s four.

Iran has met Finland and Puerto Rico just once. At the 1970 World Championship, Iran beat the Finns 3-1 and in 2014 thrashed the Caribbean island nation 3-0.

Iran twice won the Asian Championship in 2011 and 2013. It also took gold at the Asian Games in Korea in 2014. In their 5th presence at the World Championship, Iran came in 6th. They finished 8th in the World Cup 2015. Since 2013, Iran has entered the World League every year and their best achievement was in 2014 when they ended up fourth.

Iran made it to the Olympic Games for the first time in their history in 2016 as the top ranked Asian squad at the World Olympic Qualification Tournament in Japan. They finished in 5th place in the Olympics.


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