World Baseball Softball Confederation supported by Major League Baseball
CHAD WISE / Sports Features Communications
(SFC) The World Baseball Softball Confederation released a statement today regarding the support of professional baseball leagues around the world, including North America’s Major League Baseball, in its fight to get baseball back into the Olympic Programme in 2020.
WBSC has coordinated with the leagues to gain athlete participation without season loss.
"We have the full and unwavering support of the MLB and all the pro leagues around the world,” the statement read. “They are fully behind our campaign to include baseball and softball in the Olympic Programme - and they are supporting us in numerous substantial ways.
“With the WBSC's innovative new format for Olympic Baseball - a six day tournament with eight international teams - there is no need to shut down the MLB season for professional participation. We will work together with all the professional leagues to find creative scheduling solutions to avoid any conflict with the Olympic championship games, but we have seven years to find the right formula.
“Commissioner Selig is on record in support of baseball and softball in the Olympic Games and we fully support his commitment to MLB's loyal fans.
“As the globalization trends of baseball and softball continue to accelerate, we are convinced that baseball and softball together will add enormous appeal and value to the 2020 Olympic Games and beyond.
“With the commercial, economic, broadcast, and digital marketing power of the professional game - and the powerful appeal of baseball and softball to young people and women everywhere - our sport would add tremendous value to the Olympic Games and strengthen the Movement through our global participation, now 65 million players strong, and fan base.
“The WBSC leadership is fully committed to continue engaging the professional baseball leagues and working with the IOC to find realistic and attractive solutions for the professional players to be available for their national teams, and we are very satisfied with the progress we have been able to achieve thus far and are fully confident that we will continue to take steps forward."
In a joint bid, baseball and softball are one of three sports shortlisted for reinstatement in the 2020 Olympic Games Programme. The International Olympic Committee will choose one of baseball/softball, squash and wrestling at the 125th IOC Session in Buenos Aires this September.
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