International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) President Ary S. Graça will stand unopposed for re-election for the next eight years at the 35th World Congress in Buenos Aires in October, it has been announced today.
The Brazilian, first elected for an initial four years in September 2012, had already received "unanimous support" from all five Continental Confederations.
His candidature was confirmed today by the FIVB Board of Administration for the election on October 5 after the passing of the six month nominations deadline on Monday (April 4).
“It is an honour to be the President of the largest International Federation in the world and it is incredibly humbling to receive this vote of confidence," he said.
"I am looking forward to having an opportunity to build on the FIVB’s rapid development as we work together to make volleyball the number one family entertainment sport in the world.”
A constitutional change introduced at the 2014 FIVB Congress introduced an eight-year first term and a four-year second term for Presidents, a change on the previous system of unlimited four-year terms.
Because Graça was initially elected for just four years, he has been permitted to stand for 12 years the other way around, an FIVB spokesperson confirmed to insidethegames today, with the eight-year term coming second.
This comes at a key time for the sport as it bids to maximise the opportunities provided by Rio 2016, where volleyball and beach volleyball are expected to be among the most popular sports.
A "nine goal" project was launched last year to take the organisation forward, topped by the bold aim of shifting volleyball from a group two to a group one sport in the International Olympic Committee rankings by 2020.
"Under his [Graca's] leadership, the sport has experienced unparalleled worldwide growth," an FIVB statement said today.
"He has created opportunities for more countries to take part in higher level events and the global expansion of tournaments has introduced the sport to new audiences around the world.
"The 2016 FIVB Volleyball World League and FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix will include a record 36 and 28 teams respectively while one of the beach volleyball qualification processes for the Olympic Games - the Continental Cup - will feature an unprecedented 169 nations."
"Dr. Graça has also implemented measures to enhance the governance of the Federation, including improvements made to financial operations, as it strives to operate under the highest standards of transparency."
Good governance is another challenge for the FIVB, with financial reports still only available through the webcast of the Federation’s biennial Congress, rather than online.
In the short term, ending a ban on women spectators attending Iranian volleyball matches is another aim, something the FIVB have pledged to do before Rio 2016.
Graça, head of the Brazilian Volleyball Confederation (CBV) from 1997 to 2012 before stepping down to taking over as FIVB President, has also survived allegations that he was involved in the funneling of money to family and friends between 2010 and 2013 while in charge of CBV.
He was accused, along with other CBV directors, of involvement in the funneling of BRL30 million (£7 million/$11 million/€9 million) in a 50-page report by a Federal Anti-Corruption Agency,
Graça strongly denied the allegations and nothing has been proven.