Isa Town, Bahrain, June 1, 2024 – As Vietnam brought down the curtain on the AVC Challenge Cup for Women with a bang to be crowned the back-to-back champions in Philippines last Wednesday, the focus now turns to the 5th edition of the AVC Challenge Cup for Men, set to kick off on Sunday at Isa Town, Bahrain.

A strong field of 12 teams will strut their stuff in the topflight competition between June 2 and 9 to vie for top honor and the lone ticket for the 2024 FIVB Men’s Challenger Cup in Linyi, China  from July 4 to 7, the last stop  where eight qualified teams including hosts China will battle for a spot in the revamped Volleyball Nations League (VNL), which will expand to 18 teams beginning in 2025.

Regarding drawing of lots results of the  2024 AVC Challenge Cup for Men on May 3, teams were split into four pools of three teams apiece. Hosts and 2023 silver medallists Bahrain, Philippines and China are in Pool A, while Pool B features defending champions Thailand, Kazakhstan and Pakistan. Korea joined Indonesia and Qatar in Pool C, with Vietnam, Australia and Chinese Taipei in Pool D.

Teams will contest pool round-robin preliminaries from June 2 to 4, with only top two teams advancing to the quarterfinals. The teams finishing third place in each pool will battle it out in the Classification Round four 9th-12th places.

On Sunday, June 2, the first day of the competition, world No.49 Pakistan will open their campaign against world No.54 Kazakhstan, while world No.35 Australia will take on world No.43 Chinese Taipei, world No.28 Korea challenge world No.52 Indonesia, defending and consecutive three-time South East Asian (SEA) Games champions, and Philippines play China, silver medallists at the rescheduled Hangzhou Asian Games last year.

At the previous edition last year in Chinese Taipei, Thailand captured the title following their straight-set win against Bahrain in the Pool 1-6 ranking, while Korea beat Vietnam to pick up bronze medal.


With hosts and world No.32 China automatically securing their berth in the FIVB Challenger Cup, world No.21 Qatar have been regarded as one of the strongest teams to be reckoned with in this eight-day tournament as they, as hosts, secured silver medal at the 2023 FIVB Challenger Cup in Doha following their 2-3 upset loss to  Turkey in the showdown.

The inaugural Asian Men’s Volleyball Challenge Cup was organised in 2018 in Colombo, Sri Lanka, with Iraq emerging as the champions. The 2020 edition was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Kyrgyzstan kept the title at home in 2022 in Cholpon-Ata, while the 2023 edition took place in Taipei where Thailand were crowned the eventual champions. 

To make sure the tournament will be run smoothly and a memorable success, the joint meeting between Control Committee and local organisers as well as the venue inspection and the referee clinic had been held a few days ago. 

Shaikh Ali Mohamed Rashed Abdulla Alkhalifa, President of Bahrain Volleyball Association, presided over the General Technical Meeting on Saturday at Gulf Court Hotel here to make sure all is set for the competition, with the final confirmation of the crucial issues including competition rules and regulations, format of play, refereeing, press and VIS.

Shaikh Ali Mohamed Rashed Abdulla Alkhalifa welcomed all participants and wished them a nice stay in Bahrain. Control Committee President and Technical Delegate Mr Emile Jabbour informed about all relevant competition matters, with Referee Delegate Mr S. Ben Coonghe raising the refereeing issues.


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