« An exceptional chance », according to the president of the League

The Chinese national team wishes to participate in the next two seasons of the French Volleyball League A in order to prepare for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. The project, which should guarantee financial benefits, is « well advanced », assures Yves Bouget, president of the National Volleyball League (LNV).

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Imagine the United States becoming the 21st club in league 1 football alongside PSG or OM. Sound unimaginable? And yet, this is what could happen in the French volleyball championship. The Chinese selection wishes to join Ligue A for the next two seasons in order to prepare for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. The National Volleyball League (LNV) confirms a project « well advanced » but far from complete.

« It’s true that it’s a bit iconoclastic », recognizes the president of the LNV. « But it’s an exceptional chance, insists Yves Bouget. A phenomenal economic boost. » The presence of the Chinese national team in the French volleyball championship is first and foremost the recognition of French excellence, the men’s team being the reigning Olympic champion. There is also a media issue: the French championship so far broadcast on the League’s online platform could potentially be broadcast live on CCTV, Chinese public television and its billion viewers. Which would also imply shifting certain matches of the selection to correspond to prime time in Beijing.

And then, the LNV does not hide it, « there would be a financial counterpart » which would strengthen the clubs. The amount will remain secret, indicates the League to franceinfo. Yves Bouget denies the sum of 1.3 million which has been advanced. Only positive therefore, insist the leaders who specify that certain limits are already posed. China will not be able to be champion, nor to go down to a lower division but each match played would count in the classification. It remains to be seen in which room, in which city the Chinese team will be based. « The candidates are numerous and have understood their interest », assures Yves Bouget.

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