World Baseball Softball Confederation Still has ‘unwavering support’ from MLB says Fraccari

April 28, 2013

The International Baseball Federation (IBAF) president, Riccardo Fraccari has reiterated Major League Baseball (MLB) support over their Olympic bid despite the premier Baseball organisation announcing it wiil not change it’s schedule to feed around the Olympics should they win it.

Baseball was an Olympic medal sport from 1992-2008, then was dropped for last year’s London Games. IBAF and the International Softball Federation (ISF) recently merged to create one entity called the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) to further boost their bid for 2020 Olympics inclusion.

IOC President Jacques Rogge says baseball should make its top athletes available, as they are in basketball and hockey.

“Look, we can’t stop our season in August. We just can’t,” MLB Commissioner Bud Selig told the Associated Press Sports Editors on Thursday. “You can’t say to your fans: ‘We’ll see you in the next period of time. You’re club loses some players but yours doesn’t.’”

“Do I wish I could? Yes,” he said. “But is it practical? No.”

But Fraccari, who is also co-president of the WBSC said: “We have the full and unwavering support of MLB and all the pro leagues around the world. They are fully behind our campaign to get baseball and softball returned to the Olympic Programme—and they are supporting us in a number of substantial ways. 

“We share a vision of giving every boy and girl in the world a chance to play this great game—and to harness the power of the Olympic Games to inspire them to take up our sport and strive for excellence.

“Commissioner Selig is on record in support of baseball and softball together in the Olympic Games, and we fully support the Commissioner’s commitment to MLB’s loyal fans.

“As the globalization trends of baseball and softball continue to accelerate, we are convinced that baseball and softball, through their excitement, universality and popularity, will add enormous appeal and value to the 2020 Olympic Games and those beyond—as such, we look forward to making that case to the Olympic Family.”

The IOC board meets next month to select one or more sports for consideration by September’s IOC general assembly. The final decision on which sport will be added to the 2020 Olympics will be made in September.

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