Buenos Aires, Sep 7: Professional baseball and softball leagues will give way to the Olympics to promote better participation of world class players, the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) said here.
This is WBSC’s final chance to promote the game before the 125th International Olympic Committee (IOC) session here where baseball/softball along with wrestling and squash will compete for the last admission to the 2020 Olympics, reports Xinhua.
WBSC’s lobby team including its vice-president Antonio Castro, Nippon Professional Baseball commissioner Ryozo Kato, co-presidents Riccardo Fraccari and Don Porter, secretary general B.C. Low, and several professional players expressed their confidence in bringing top players into Olympics.
“We campaign for baseball and softball looking at the Olympics with full and total support of every professional league in function around the world,” said Kato.
The confederation has programmes in more than 140 countries, according to the WBSC.
“I am confident that because of this close relationship we will be able to work out a way for the professional league players to participate in the 2020 Games without having to shut the season down. There is a strong desire among the leagues to work with the IOC to ensure there is minimum overlap in schedules and we will find a realistic solution to ensure some of the biggest players to participate,” Kato said.
The WBSC highlighted the important role that baseball and softball could play in attracting youngsters and women in sports. The lobby team also mentioned the sport’s potential in collecting money for Olympics and taking forward the Olympic Movement.
“In a growing global popularity of the sport, we are convinced that baseball and softball will generate very strong ticket sales and revenue for the Olympic Movement, if selected into the games.”