As the echo of the volleyball spikes resonate across Europe, all eyes are on the current national team season, including the imminent EuroVolley for women and men, and the forthcoming Olympic qualifications. However, behind the thrilling sports scenes, an equally engrossing narrative is unfolding – the diplomatic dance surrounding the anticipated presidential elections of the top European volleyball institution.
Amidst the preparations for the General Assembly in Brussels this September, apprehensions and uncertainties loom large about the criteria and decisions related to the presidential candidacy. Unnamed sources, which have proven reliable in the past, have provided a sneak peek into the diplomacy currently in motion.
The chessboard was set when Sebastian Swiderski, the Polish Volleyball Federation President, expressed his concerns in an open letter. Swift to respond was the president of the CEV European Legal Commission (ELC), explaining the rationale behind the contentious criteria for the presidential candidacy.
In case of candidate to the position of CEV President, to have a broad experience inCEV General Regulations Section 3 – Article 1.1 §4 g
Volleyball and leadership, including serving at least 4 years as board member in a National
or International Volleyball Federation,
The ELC’s response threw light on a request from the FIVB towards the end of 2022 to align the CEV Regulatory Framework with theirs. This proposal was subsequently examined, deliberated, and approved (with a 14 to 0 vote and 2 abstentions), thereby amending the CEV General regulations.
However, the waves of dissent were not entirely quelled. Another federation’s president voiced concerns about the timing of the decision, citing that the FIVB had presented a similar proposal six years before the next presidential elections, while also including national federations in the decision-making process – a practice the CEV has yet to adopt.
In response, the ELC president penned a fresh letter explaining that the topic would be on the agenda at the forthcoming General Assembly. He also clarified that the final decision rests with the assembly’s members, all national federations.
The diplomatic chess game has been set into high gear. It is heartening to see that the initial concerns raised by the Polish Federation and others have been taken seriously. As we count down to the General Assembly, the future of European volleyball hangs in the balance.
The hope is for a continued positive direction, where principles of good governance and democracy are upheld. As we anticipate the decisions of the General Assembly that will shape the future of volleyball, optimism abounds. The General Assembly stands as a platform where key decisions can be made on the election criteria for the CEV president, contributing to the prosperity and progress of the sport across Europe.