HAVANA, Sept. 22 (Xinhua) -- Cuban volleyball announced on Thursday that it will shift its focus away from international competitions in 2017, with authorities listing a lack of "financial possibilities" among the causes.
According to a press release published by the Cuban Volleyball Federation (FCV), in order to compete in the next female Grand Prix and the men's World League, the federation would need to cough up an advance payment of 75,000 and 250,000 U.S. dollars, respectively, before Oct. 30. These figures are said to outweigh the federation's current means.
The press release also mentioned challanges arising from the young age of both squads, with both having an average age under 22 years-old.
Cuba has long been one of the main teams in the World League, and they have only ever missed the first edition back in 1990, when they were not invited. Over the years at the tournament, they have taken home one gold medal, five silver and three bronze.
The Cuban team have also never missed an edition of the Grand Prix since its creation in 1993. At this tournament, the team have come home with eight medals, including two gold.
During this year's edition of the World League, the Cuban men's team went down to 22nd place while in the Grand Prix, with the women relegated to 25th place out of 29 teams.
As part of a development program, a strategy has been worked out concentrating efforts on a new Olympic cycle, beginning with the participation of three men's teams in the 2017 world championships: in the under-19, under-21 and under-23 categories.
At the same time, Cuba hopes to organize the Under-20 Pan American Cup in 2018 as well as to take part in the World Leagues and Grand Prix that same year.
In terms of beach volleyball, due to the performance given by duo Sergio Gonzalez and Nivaldo Diaz, who surprisingly reached the quarter finals at Rio 2016, the FCV are "willing to prioritize their participation in the 2017 world tour, despite the high financial cost."