alt BRITISH VOLLEYBALL has been backed to continue making progress in the build-up to the London 2012 Olympics by the president of the world governing body despite still not knowing how much they will receive to prepare.


Jizhong Wei, the president of the FIVB, has written to London 2012 chairman Sebastian Coe over the decision last month by Government agency UK Sport to defer the announcement of how much volleyball will be given.


He said: "We appeal to the British Government to invest in the development of volleyball and beach volleyball players in Great Britain and I am convinced the British Volleyball Federation will receive support from their Government."


A final decision is due to be made by UK Sport at its next Board meeting in London on January 29 but the lack of clarity has left the British Volleyball Federation (BVF) unsure as to how it will finance a series of initiatives designed to help the sport become competitive for the 2012 Olympics.


Britain has never qualified to compete at indoor volleyball in the Olympics since it made its debut at the Tokyo Games in 1964 and has competed only once in beach volleyball, in Atlanta in 1996, when the discipline made its debut.


But, as hosts, Britain automatically qualify for London.


Wei said: "The FIVB can guarantee that British volleyball and beach volleyball teams will compete at the 2012 Games.


"The FIVB, within its regulations, will support the British Volleyball Federation as much as possible with this."


Richard Callicott, the president of the BVF, said, "The BVF is working very hard to encourage the Government and UK Sport to give us the necessary allocation that will enable us to continue the wonderful progress we have so far made and to continue working with the players of the British Volleyball teams and programmes.


"The BVF believes it needs the same level of funding that it has had so far, if it is to continue to make that significant progress."