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BRAZILIAN volleyball star Giba has called for volleyball to return to Earl’s Court.
The 42-year-old former Olympic gold medallist, who won silver for Brazil at the former west London venue at the 2012 Games, has come out of retirement to sign for leading English team IBB Polonia London.
He was filmed by the Save Earl’s Court campaign group making a passionate plea to Londoners and mayor Sadiq Khan to help bring back volleyball to Earl’s Court.
“Londoners were promised an Olympic Legacy at Earl’s Court, instead the iconic venue has been demolished for luxury flats and works by the joint venture between Capital & Counties Properties Plc and Transport for London (TfL) on the site has stalled,” the group said. “Mayor Khan is chair of Transport for London. All that remains is a wasteland.”
Giba said: “I am here now to ask for you guys here in London, the court where I played, Earl’s Court, does not exist anymore and the land is empty.
“I am here to give my support to volleyball coming back to London. I am here in London this week to play with IBB Polonia volleyball and show how much the people here in England love volleyball.
“Please, Mayor, give back our court and I [will] give all the support for the local people to help them! Help them to take back our place, our home, our volleyball home here in London!”
Director of commercial development at land owners TfL Graeme Craig said: “Earl’s Court is one of the capital’s most important development opportunities, which will provide more than 1,500 homes, and we are keen to see development progress as soon as possible.
“The wider Earl’s Court Masterplan would look to include new sports and leisure facilities, providing a range of sports for all.”
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