CEV Champions League to feature 65 teams!

CEV, Luxembourg. As many as 65 teams – 36 men’s and 29 women’s – have signed up to participate in the 2021 edition of the elite CEV Champions League Volley! These numbers are truly impressive, and testament to the unique status of this competition – as well as to the obvious desire that clubs still nurture to perform at the highest level on the international stage. Overall, the 2021 edition of the CEV European Cups features as many as 164 teams. Despite the many challenges still brought by the coronavirus pandemic, this figure shows that there is much appetite among members of the European Volleyball family to compete internationally and the anticipation for the return of the European Cups is obviously mounting! 

Earlier this summer, the CEV Board of Administration approved some exceptional measures for the organisation of the 2021 European Cups and more specifically for the CEV Champions League Volley – allowing National Federations to register one extra team on top of their respective slots resulting from the latest European Ranking List. 

With 18 teams seeded to the 4th Round, another 18 will start their journey in the early rounds of the men’s competition. As for the 1st Round, there will be six pools, each one featuring three teams, and each club will organise one tournament on home soil. The winners of each pool will progress to the next round, featuring six teams in total divided into two pools of three each – where again, each team will organise a tournament at home and the eventual pool winners will progress to the 4th Round of the competition. The composition of the 1st Round pools will emerge from the Drawing of Lots due to take place on August 21 in Luxembourg, with no teams pre-seeded and a free draw. The 1st Round will get underway on September 22-24 with the first of three tournaments in each pool. 

In the women’s competition, since National Federations have taken 17 of the 18 slots available for teams seeded directly to the 4th Round, three (and not two) will progress from the early rounds to the pool stage, thus accounting for the required 20 clubs needed for the group phase. Therefore, 12 teams will contest two rounds, with a series of home and away matches in each round. The first round features 12 teams, with the six winners moving on to the second, where the three teams progressing to the pool stage will emerge. 

There is plenty to look forward to as Europe’s prime Volleyball competition returns soon and the top players in the world will be taking to the court again! 

CEV Cup and Challenge Cup 

The 2021 edition of the CEV Cup will feature a 32-team draw per gender, including the losers from the early rounds of the CEV Champions League and some clubs that have expressed their readiness to move from the Challenge Cup to the second most prestigious of the three European competitions. This means that the quest for the title will begin with the 16th Finals and continue all the way until the title-deciding matches. 

As for the CEV Challenge Cup, the men’s competition will get underway with a single second-round double-header followed by the 16th Finals, since there are as many as 33 entries. As for the women’s competition, with 27 participating teams, the race to glory will begin with the 16th Finals, where five teams will enjoy a bye. 

In each of these competitions, all rounds will consist of home and away matches.

CEV – European Volleyball