Brazzaville has been awarded the men's African Olympic Qualifying Tournament ©FIVB

The men’s African Olympic Qualifying Tournament will take place in Brazzaville from January 7 to 14, the African Volleyball Confederation (CAVB) has announced.

The event will feature a record 22 teams, with the winner of the competition earning a spot at next year's Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. 

The countries who finish in second and third place at the event in the Congolese capital, which recently played host to the All-Africa Games, will have another chance of booking a place at the Games in the Brazilian city at the Intercontinental Olympic Qualification Tournament in May or June of next year.

Egypt, reigning African Volleyball Championship gold medallists, are due to compete alongside the likes of Tunisia, Africa’s sole representative at London 2012.

Dates and the venue for the women’s tournament will be released in the near future.

The competition will be held in the same week as the European Olympic Qualification Tournaments, with the women’s event due to be staged in Ankara, Turkey from January 4 to 9, while the men’s equivalent is scheduled to take place from January 5 to 10 in Germany's capital Berlin.

The United States won last year's edition of the FIVB Grand Prix
The United States won last year's edition of the FIVB Grand Prix ©Getty Images

The International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) has also announced the women’s Volleyball World Grand Prix Group Finals will be held in Thailand, Bulgaria and Kazakhstan.

Group 1 will see the hosts go up against 2015 champions the United States, Russia, Brazil, China, Italy, Japan, Germany, Serbia, Belgium, Turkey, and The Netherlands, with Thailand's capital Bangkok due to stage the Finals from July 6 to 10.

Bulgaria has been selected as the host country for the Group 2 Finals, with the initial phase featuring the hosts, the Dominican Republic, Poland, the Czech Republic, Puerto Rico, Canada, Argentina and Kenya.

The Finals are scheduled for June 17 to 19 at a venue which is still to be confirmed.

The conclusion of Group 3, the lowest tier of the Grand Prix which includes Croatia, Peru, Colombia, Australia, Cuba, Kazakhstan, Algeria, Mexico, will be held in Kazakhstan on the same weekend as the Group 2 Finals.

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