The FIVB President Dr. Ary S. Graça F° with Italian Volleyball Federation President Carlo Magri
Verona, Italy, October 2, 2014 - The FIVB President Dr. Ary S. Graça F°, watched a solid Brazil come from a set down to defeat Netherlands 3-1 at PalaOlimpia on Thursday.
Sitting in the stands, the former Brazil international stressed how volleyball has entered a new era on and off the court.
“The most important thing is innovation and using new technology,” he said. “It was in the old time, my time. Now we must give a show to the public and then the public will give a show like they did in Poland."
“You must be interactive with the public. The public are the most important thing. You have to help them to be satisfied.”
Promoting volleyball worldwide is one of the key areas for Dr. Graça and he is happy with the sport’s progress with the Rio 2016 Olympic Games on the horizon.
The President said: “That’s what we are trying (to create new volleyball markets). In the past, beach volleyball had only 31 countries trying to qualify for the Olympics. In London, because of investment in Asia and Europe we had 143 countries trying to qualify.
“Now for Rio 2016 we already have 195 countries, so we are spreading volleyball all around the world to be more popular. I think that we are succeeding. The new show we gave in Poland (men’s World Championship) shows that people want to be more enthusiastic about volleyball.”
Talking about his hopes for volleyball and beach volleyball at the Games in his home country in less than two years’ time, Graça was in no doubt about the potential success for the FIVB’s two sports.
Dr. Graça continued: “In the last meeting of the Olympic committee I said that volleyball had no problem with the stadium and beach volleyball will be a real show.
“Volleyball in Rio de Janeiro is almost as popular as football, so you can expect a lot of things from us and it’s going to be a real success at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.”
The Italian team have been impressive at the World Championship and are just a point behind China at the top of pool E. Graça believes the young world No. 4 ranked team might have what it takes to be world champions in the future.
“Italy is going to be always Italy, there’s no doubt about that. If at a short moment you are not doing well, it’s not a problem. The women have a very young team and they will be important in the future, maybe the champion.”