The schedule for November’s volleyball World Cup has been decided with host Japan’s women to take on Argentina in the first match while the men are set to meet Egypt, tournament organizers said Friday.

Japan’s women will play their first game on Nov. 1 while the men’s match will get under way on Nov. 16 at the 12-nation meet to take place throughout Japan.

The event will serve as a qualifier for next year’s Athens Olympics with the top three finishers for the men’s and women’s teams booking a spot for the 2004 Games.

The teams consist of the 12 finalists of four continental championships — Asia and Oceania, Europe, South America, and North, Central America and Caribbean — together with the winner of the African Continental championship, and two teams nominated by Federation Internationale de VolleyBall as well as host Japan.

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