Olympiacos to compete in CEV Cup, PAOK in CEV Champions League
Olympiacos will compete in next season’s CEV Cup while PAOK will participate in the CEV Champions League.
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Although Olympiacos were crowned champions of the 2018 Greek Volley League, the Erythrolefki will compete in next season’s CEV Cup, Europe’s second tier club competition. Olympiacos gave up their spot in the CEV Champions League as they were unable to find a venue that occupies 3000 seats, a rule in the CEV Champions League competition. The Greek champions explored various stadium options both in an outside of Athens, however housing games away from the club’s home ground, the Melina Merkouri Hall (occupies 1600), was financially feasible. In addition, the club felt that they could make a “further” run in CEV Cup compared to the CEV Champions League.
As a result, Olympiacos will compete in the second tier continental tournament (CEV Cup), a step up from this past season where Olympiacos competed in the CEV Challenge Cup (Europe’s third tier competition). The Piraeus club had a great run in the competition falling in the final to Italy’s Ravenna to claim second place.
PAOK, the Volley League’s runner up, will take Olympiacos’ place in next year’s CEV Challenge Cup. The Thessalonikis competed in the competition last season (as Greece’s champions) and were eliminated in the group stages. PAOK will learn at a later date where they will begin in the competition, either in the qualifying rounds or if they will receive a direct ticket to the group stages. The European Volleyball Confederation will have the final say on this matter.