Virus cuts club season short, North Macedonia to focus on EuroVolley qualifiers

Skopje, North Macedonia, June 11, 2020. Despite the wishes and many efforts of the National Federation and of almost all clubs to resume competitive sport, the Executive Board of the Volleyball Federation of North Macedonia and the Competition Commissioner Sanja Nikcevic have decided to cancel the remainder of the men’s and women’s national league competition. This is in response to the coronavirus crisis, with a recent increase in the number of infections registered across the country preventing a resumption of the competition.

There will be no proclamation of national champions for the 2019/2020 edition of the national championship, but the ‘frozen’ standing recorded at the time of the coronavirus outbreak will determine the Macedonian teams due to represent the Balkan country in the next edition of the CEV European Cups.

In order to assess the feasibility of the process, the Volleyball Federation of North Macedonia held two on-line sessions with the participation of representatives of all clubs competing at the senior level. The majority expressed their readiness and wish to complete the championship in compliance with the relevant health protocols, but only as long as it does not pose a risk to the health of the players and all those involved in the process.

After making all possible efforts to resume playing, the highest governing body of the Volleyball Federation of North Macedonia stated that there are no such conditions to play Volleyball in June and July. However, in order to reward the results achieved by the participating teams before the outbreak of the pandemic, the Executive Board decided that the current standing at the time the virus brought competition to a halt would determine the teams’ opportunities to join international competitions in the 2020/2021 season.

The decision applies to all youth competitions as well, so this summer the main Volleyball topic in the Balkan country will be the preparation of the Macedonian national team for the EuroVolley 2021 Men qualifiers. After making their historic debut last year, when they recorded two wins in Ljubljana, North Macedonia will try to secure their second straight EuroVolley appearance contesting a pool featuring the likes of Turkey, Denmark and Bosnia and Herzegovina.