The opening match of the 2021 FIVB Volleyball Club World Championship in Betim, Brazil, started with a controversial detail regarding one of the participants.
Brazilian champions Funvic debuted in the competition with a comeback win over modest Argentina’s UPCN San Juan in Pool A, and they trailed 0-2 in sets.
However, on the eve of the match, the Funvic head coach Javier Weber was dismissed by the club officials and watched the match from the stands so his assistant João Gomes commanded the team.
After the victory, all the players of the Natal side went to hug the Argentine expert.
According to brazilian media, the removal of Weber from his post is linked to his dissatisfaction for not being paid, but also because his players were not paid, according to the agreement. Moreover, Funvic refused to pay the transfer fee for Luis Estrada which further triggered the internal situation to worsen. The Cuban player was not registered for the Club World Championship and just like Weber, remained on the stands.
Gabriel Santos top-scored Funvic with 22 points, while American Patrick Gasman set up as many as seven winning blocks.
In Pool B, Funvic’s fellow countrymen Sada Cruzeiro swept Iran’s Sirjan Foolad in straight sets thanks to 20 points from Cuban Miguel Ángel López (including four blocks), while Otávio Pinto made six blocks.
The commotion Saber Kazemi has risen accusing the Asian club champions of forcing him to play in the event in Betim even though he is injured bore fruits and Sirjan didn’t take him to Brazil.
Instead, Serbian Aleksandar Blagojević, who spent the last season in Vojvodina NS seme Novi Sad was hired and performed as an opposite against Cruzeiro.
🏐| POOL B
Sirjan Foolad – Sada Cruzeiro 0-3 (20:25,
FOOLAD SIRJAN: Daneshdoust 8, Behobdi 2, Blagojevic 2, Esfandiar 9, Tashakori 3, Ali Reza 1, Mostafa (L): Sahand 1, Jevelh 1. Amir
Hossein 1, Shasavari (L), Gholizad 1. Coach. Said Rezai.
SADA CRUZEIRO: Rodriguinho 8, Isac 7, Wallace 11, Lopez 20, Otavio 11, Fernando, Lukinha (L). N.e. Oppenkoski, Lucas Loh, Rech, Cledenilson, Bauer, Resley, Matias. Coach. Filipe Augusto Ferraz.