Foreword by CEV President Mr. André Meyer

Ladies and gentlemen, dear athletes and volleyball fans,

A few weeks after the great emotions provided by the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, the European top teams are expected to enter another top-class competition in order to clinch a spot for the 2009 FIVB World Grand Prix.

According to the competition format, the European Qualification Tournament is going to be entered by a total of 6 national teams which have been identified according to the final rankings of the last Senior European Championships. As a result of that, host Russia will be joined by defending European champion Italy, 2007 silver medallist Serbia, as well as a bunch of very consisting and successful national teams such as the Netherlands, Germany and France. With Poland having been awarded a wild-card for the 2009 FIVB World Grand Prix, three more berths are still at the disposal of the European contingent and a very tough battle is expected to occur in order to top the final standings of this round-robin tournament.

On behalf of the CEV Board of Administration I would like to sincerely thank the Russian Volleyball Federation and the local Organising Committee, especially as this is the first time ever the city of Omsk has been appointed to stage a major event organized under the authority of the European Volleyball Confederation. After the great success achieved during the 2007 Mens Senior European Championships in Moscow and St. Petersburg, I feel like this event is going to confirm once again the great passion that the local audience always deserves to volleyball competitions, which have been traditionally playing a key role in the deep-rooted sport culture of your country.

Wishing the very best of luck to all the participating teams, I remain with my sport regards.

The greeting of VFR President Nikolaj Patrushev to the participants of the
World Grand Prix 2009 European qualification tournament

Dear Friends!

On the behalf of Volleyball federation of Russia I welcome the participants of European Qualification Grand-Prix tournament and numerous volleyball fans!

I sincerely hope that volleyball players, their coaches, delegation representatives experience Siberian hospitality during their stay in Omsk. Omsk holds the competition of such level for the first time. The city with highly developed volleyball infrastructure deserved well the right to organize the continental Grand-Prix qualification tournament. The CEV decision to grant this competition to Russia is another tribute to our countrys achievements in volleyball development; it is a high evaluation of the work done by Volleyball Federation of Russia in the field of CEV and FIVB competitions organization. Recently we watched the game of the world's best teams on Olympic Games in Beijing, being much exited and enjoying first-lass volleyball. International calendar is very busy and tight; here in Omsk we have possibility to see again three national teams, which took part in Olympic Games Russia, Italy and Serbia. I am sure, rivals from the Netherlands, France and Germany will be equal opponents in the contest for three passes for World Grand-Prix. There are no doubts that much people will attend this event. I wish to the fans picturesque, bright and dynamic volleyball.