Once a refuge for Syria refugees, Kozani now welcomes the best of World League Group 3


The four coaches (from left to right): Sotiris Drikos (Greece), Rafail Gilyazutdinov (Kazakhstan), Chen Ke Chu (Chinese Taipei) and Javier Gaspar (Puerto Rico)

Kozani, Greece, June 16, 2016 - Greece coach Sotiris Drikos hails the expansion of world volleyball, referencing all four participants in FIVB Volleyball World League Group 3C - Chinese Taipei, Kazakhstan, Puerto Rico and hosts Greece - coming from three different continents.

All four head coaches and captains participated in the pre-event press conference on Thursday looking ahead to the weekend's matches in the Greek city of Kozani. 

It will be the first sporting event ever held at the Kozani New Indoor Sports Hall, which served as a temporary hospitality center for Syrian refugees for two-and-a-half months earlier this year.

Quotes at the Press Conference:

Javier Gaspar (Puerto Rico head coach): “We are very excited to be playing the World League here in Greece. We have a very young team. We expect to have very good experience and to put up a good fight with all these great opponents.” 

Chen Ke Chu (Chinese Taipei head coach): “Our team was formed some three-and-a-half years ago. It is our first World League participation, so we have come here to learn something.” 

Rafail Gilyazutdinov (Kazakhstan head coach): “We are happy to be here at the city of Kozani and we wish good luck to all teams of Group 3.” 

Sotiris Drikos (Greece head coach): “I want to welcome all my colleagues and the players of Kazakhstan, Chinese Taipei and Puerto Rico. The synthesis of this Pool, with teams from three different continents, is a real proof of the worldwide spread of volleyball. No other sport, except football, can provide something similar. This will make the upcoming matches very special for us and for the spectators, as well. There will be four different volleyball schools competing here in Kozani: Us, representing the Western Europe style, Kazakhstan as an ex-Soviet Republic representing the Eastern Europe school, Chinese Taipei is a typical example of the Far East, while Puerto Rico is a Latin American team, based on speed and technique. Each opponent has got different attributes and every match will be a new experience.” 

Chien Chen Chen (Chinese Taipei captain): “This is our first World League participation and we will try to do our best.” 

Alexandr Stolnikov (Kazakhstan captain): “It is very nice to be here. I wish good games and good luck to all teams.” 

Sequiel Sanchez (Puerto Rico captain): “We are excited to be here. We came with our young group to play against these great teams and we hope to do well.” 

Mitar Djuric (Greece captain): “Good luck to all teams. I wish we have good games in front of the spectators who will come to see us play. It is the second year in a row we take part in the World League and our goal is to make it to the Final Four, in order to be among the best teams next year as well.” 

Furthermore, the President of the Hellenic Volleyball Federation (EOPE), Achilleas Mavromatis, the Mayor of Kozani, Lefteris Ioannidis, the Region of Western Macedonia representative, Takis Karakasidis, as well as tournament sponsors, Hellenic Public Power Corporation (DEI) Marketing spokesperson, Ioannis Alexopoulos, welcomed the foreign delegations and wished them all good luck and a pleasant stay at Kozani.


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