President of the Turkish Volleyball Federation Mehmet Akif Ustundag commented on the great fight of the national women’s volleyball team in the League of Nations. Akif gave the good news of Ustundag Hall. Details here …
– Mr. President, what does it mean to play volleyball in Turkey?
“Right now, the data, the statistics and the public interest show us that volleyball is now the number one team sport in Turkey. Here you have seen our matches in the League of Nations that we played in Ankara. All tickets are sold out within an hour. If we build a two-story hall next to the Ankara Sports Hall, it will definitely be full. The fact that volleyball attracts so much attention increases our excitement, excitement and motivation as a volleyball family. ”
– Does Ankara have a special place in these processes?
“We played the final at the Atatুrk Sports Hall in Ankara in 2003 with a capacity of 5,000 people and we finished second in Europe. Since then, love for volleyball has grown in Ankara. Next, we couldn’t sit in our TVF Başkent volleyball hall with a capacity of 7,000 people. Now, 15,000 people have entered the Ankara Sports Hall with additional on-field tribunes. We will play the final again in Ankara on July 13-17 and tickets for the semifinals and finals are already sold out!
– We’ve seen volleyball matches in stadiums in some countries, can we do that too?
“This is one of our biggest dreams and goals. I have two dreams, a high school, but we want to go to high school. Second, we want to create conditions and opportunities and play an international match in Turkey in front of thousands of spectators at the stadium. We have already started working on this. For example, our men’s national team played a game in front of 7,000 people in Elazig. Now I think if there was a stadium with 20-25 thousand people, we would fill it. For example, by setting up extra stands inside our stadium in Iriana, Ankara, we could easily play matches with 25,000 people. Poland did it a few years ago. Why can’t Poland and Turkey? Let’s see the 25,000-seat stadium first, maybe we won’t fit in there either! ”
– There is a huge interest and tendency towards volleyball especially among the young generation. Do you have this feature?
“Not only as spectators, but also as stakeholders, our youth are involved in volleyball. At TVF Volleyball High School, we also teach coaching and refereeing lessons. This week, we finished and graduated 28 of our candidate referees, they are future referees. Here we invest in future players, referees and coaches. We have been providing scholarships to our youth for two years. We have such strong sponsors that they don’t just say they sponsored national teams or leagues. Wherever we need support, they build partnerships and value partnerships with us. Today, there are factory volleyballs in 36 provinces. Our target is 61 provinces! But the epidemic has also affected us negatively. We have activated festival volleyball to close these gaps. We have increased interest in volleyball throughout Anatolia. And we get what we can … “
The goal is now instructive
– Net of the Sultans came 5th in the Tokyo Olympic Games. What are your expectations for Paris 2024?
“We are not satisfied with just taking part in the Olympics. We are ranked 5th in Tokyo. Hopefully, we want to participate in Paris 2024 this time, for both men and women. Both our teams will play in the world championship. The better we finish these tournaments, the easier it will be for us to participate in the Olympics. In Paris 2024, we are now targeting the podium. “
In fact, foreign rule has not changed
– Foreign rule has increased from 3 + 1 to 3 + 2. What is the reason for this change?
“Our goal here is to encourage local players to sit on the sidelines of teams that will use foreign quotas in different teams. We did this and shared it with the clubs. 3 + 1 has the names of 10 locals and 4 foreigners. We said let me give 3 + 2, and you lend to young players you sit on the other team’s bench. They also thought it logical.
In fact, foreign rule in general has not changed. As a result, even if there is more than one foreigner in the list, the same number of foreigners will play in the field.
On the other hand, we will ensure that our youngsters who are on the sidelines can also play. ”
95,000 people played in Maracan
The idea of playing volleyball matches in a football stadium is 40 years old. The calendar shows 1983, when the men’s national teams of Brazil and the Soviet Union met at Rio’s famous Maracana Stadium, which was packed with 95,000 spectators. Just 9 months before the game on July 26, the two teams met in the final of the World Championships and the USSR won. Despite the rain in the rematch of this match in Maracan, Brazil, which was not left alone by its 95,000 supporters at the stand, won with a dramatic comeback. In 1984, at the Marunbi Stadium in Sওo Paulo, Brazil won a 3-0 rematch of the final of the Los Angeles Olympic Games, this time from the United States, in front of 60,000 people. The closest examples of volleyball matches at the stadium were the 2014 World and 2017 European Championships.
Once again, Serbia face host Poland at the men’s Warsaw National Stadium. Poland won 3-0 with 83,000 people watching the match.
This match, unlike the others, went down in history as the most watched by an official volleyball match. In 2017, Serbia won the rematch at the Warsaw National Stadium, this time.
Our future is assured
“Our U21 girls have reached the finals without a set. I believe we will play the final there. U22 men reach the final without a goal. When we look at the average age, we have the youth team who are in the top three in the world in every category including the big team. Our pool is also very big. Our various national teams are working for the Mediterranean Games, Islamic Solidarity Games, Nations League and World Championships. If you achieve this with this average age, if the love for volleyball is at this stage then it proves that the movement is sustainable. In short, the future of Turkish volleyball is certain … “
In football we have passed the ratings
– Many tournaments are played in volleyball, success is good, but athletes are not tired?
“It’s not impossible to wear. Our women’s league is the highest quality league in the world. Playing in such a league is always tiring. Here are 5 games in our last series. I got a statistic. With the 4th match being played, the football match of the champion team, we are far ahead in the rating! This is very important in terms of where volleyball has reached. The league series is over, the Champions League series continues a week later. The Emoco players who played in the final did not make it to the first round of the VNL because we were tired, but our Vakifbank, Zehra and Aikar players interrupted their vacation saying ‘we miss you so much’ and the national team came. Who else loves this shirt? Ever since the national team was thought of as a ‘job’, today we have come to the question of ‘how can we be more involved in the national team’. As Camia, we are in the same team with all our stakeholders and we are moving forward with confidence. ”