Qatar will be back on the FIVB Beach World Tour after a year’s gap when a two-star event is staged in February 2018.
Qatar Volleyball Association President Ali Ghanim al Kuwari and FIVB Beach Volleyball Director Angelo Squeo signed an agreement in Doha on Saturday.
Under the new deal, the QVA will organise the world tour event for three years, leading to the Olympic Games in Tokyo.
Qatar hosted the three editions of the FIVB Beach World Tour event at the QVA Beach Volleyball Academy courts in Al Gharafa. The last tournament was held in 2016.
Only yesterday, the AVC Beach Tour Aspire Qatar Master concluded with the home pair of Jefferson Santos Pereira and Cherif Younousse clinching the title with a 2-1 victory over Australians Chris McGrath and Damien Schumann.
With Qatar putting a lot of emphasis on the beach volleyball development not only in the country but also in the region, the FIVB Beach World Tour return here would certainly be more than welcomed.
QVA President Kuwari said, “We’re happy to announce that we’ll host the FIVB Beach World Tour event next year again. In the first year, it will be a two-star event. Then we’ll upgrade it to three-star and four-star each year.
“We want to thank the FIVB for another opportunity to work with the world body for giving the sport a boost. The sport is fast developing and the teams are getting stronger in the Middle East.
“This deal may broaden the base of the beach volleyball in the region as well,” added Kuwari.
FIVB Beach Volleyball Director Squeo said, “We’re aiming to grow beach volleyball in the Middle East. I see a team spirit in this region to go to the next level in this sport and the potential is good. If we work hard for three or four years in this region, the teams here could be competitive at the world level.
“I have already seen a lot of interest for beach volleyball in this area. Qatar has just hosted an AVC Tour event and it is again going to be part of the FIVB Beach World Tour next year. Iran hosts the Kish Island Open.
“We’ve to play the sport at all levels, especially the grass-root one where we want to involve as many players as possible,” he added.
Qatar have done remarkably well in beach volleyball and their base is growing fast. In recent years, Qatar figured in the FIVB Beach World Championships where they qualified for the quarter-finals in 2015 in the Netherlands. Then Qatar also made it to the Rio Olympics after winning the Continental qualification event and reached the last 16 stage. Their lead pair of Pereira and Younousse also won the Kish Island Open last year.
The QVA is determined to qualify for the 2020 Olympics and providing maximum possible opportunities to its players to get stronger.