The indoor volleyball World Championships trophies were stolen while on a tour in a mall parking lot in Rio de Janeiro, according to the FIVB.
The trophies were previously on display at a fan promotional event on Copacabana Beach, according to The Associated Press.
The FIVB Men’s World Championship is Aug. 30-Sept. 21 in Poland. The Women’s World Championship is Sept. 23-Oct. 12 in Italy.
The FIVB hoped to have the trophies present for the Opening Ceremony and first men’s match in Poland next Saturday. Now, it won’t wait to see if the trophies can be found. It has contacted the Swiss company that made the original trophies for replacements.
“This situation is lamentable as the FIVB worked very hard to create a unique trophy for both World Championships,” FIVB President Dr. Ary S. Graça said in a press release. “The FIVB will work with the local authorities to attempt to recover these iconic pieces of silverware, but in the meantime will act quickly to create new ones so that a trophy will be guaranteed to be present at both finals of the World Champs.”
Brazil is known as a soccer nation, but it is excellent in both beach and indoor volleyball as well. Brazil’s men won the last three indoor World titles, while the women were runners-up to Russia in the last two.
“Contrary to the World Cup trophy, which is worth a lot because it is made of gold, the volleyball trophies don’t have any market value. No one will profit from their sale,” Brazilian confederation superintendent Neuri Barbieri told the AP.