2020 has been a difficult year to date, due to the rising crises of the coronavirus pandemic. Event after event has been cancelled and life as we know it has changed (for the time being). For many areas of the world, it has been lockdown for several weeks and only now are these lockdowns just starting to be eased. This is hugely important for the resurgence of the economy world-wide and to ensure as many jobs can be saved as possible.
One sector that has been badly affected is sport, which has seen endless cancellations and postponements. The European football championships were moved to next year and it has been a similar scenario for the Olympic games. This meant the summer games were moved for the first time in the history of the event, that dates back to 1896. It has also been previously cancelled on three occasions, each due to the first and second world wars.
Volleyball has been yet another sport, which has seen cancellations and postponements of events around the world. This of course includes the third edition of the newly formed Nations league, which had also been previously moved due to the 2020 Summer Olympics in July, which has of course also now been moved to 2021. The preliminary phase of the tournament was set to be held over five weeks from May 22nd and finishing on June 21st, before the final phase of the tournament being played between July 1st to the 5th.
The United States were also due to be the host nation for the finals, but this had also been cancelled due to it set to clash with US Independence day. Turin in Italy is now expected to host the finals, once the competition date has been sorted. That remains up in the air at present, with the on-going crises.
There is set to be 16 different nations involved, across 21 different host cities. The different nations that have qualified are based around 12 core teams and an additional four challenger sides. The latter sides being Australia, Bulgaria, Canada and Slovenia. Slovenia were the winners of the 2019 Challenger cup. That saw the side claim the victory on home soil, with a 3-0 victory over Cuba, with the sets finishing 26-24, 25-21 and 25-21.
The core sides for the Nations league are then set to be Argentina, Brazil, China, France, Germany, Iran, Italy, Japan, Poland, Russia, Serbia and the United States. Russia are the defending champions and are always well supported in the different volleyball betting markets for each competition they take part in. In fact, it was reported that they were the biggest liability in the tournament as a whole last time out, as some of the major bookmakers on this list were likely to have lost on the outright market. These online firms will seek replication of the popularity of the competition, especially given the number of games throughout the competition – thus providing greater opportunity for revenue in the match betting and ever-popular points spread markets.
The nations league will again be the same, despite the wait for the rescheduled date. That also meant a second title in succession for Russia, as they remain the only winners of the Nations league to date. It saw them beat the host nation, the United states, in the final. The score finishing 3-1 in sets, as each finished 23-25, 25-20, 21-25 and 20-25. That also meant an overall total set score of 89-95 in favour of the Russians. They were very dominant throughout and will take all the beating in the next edition of the tournament.
The different core sides involved are also involved as host nations for the tournament. Estadio Aldo Cantoni is located in San Juan in Argentina and has a capacity of 8,000. Brazil are also hosts in Campo Grande, with a capacity of 8,240. China were set to host in the Tianjin arena in Tianjin, which has a capacity of 10,000. That putting it as one of the biggest venues in the competition. France will be hosting in Nancy, with a venue of a little over 6,000 capacity. Arena Leipzig in Leipzig, Germany, is another host arena with a capacity of 12,000. Another to rival this number is the Petersen Events Centre in Pittsburgh in the United States. This has a capacity of over 12,500 and was also set to host the finals, before the change. Defending champions Russia also have a stadium of near 10,000 capacity that is located in Yaroslavl. Other nations that are also set to host include Italy, Japan, Poland, Serbia and Iran. The latter is the Azadi Indoor stadium in Tehran, which also houses a capacity of 12,000.