POSTED: May 15th 2014

First World Baseball Softball Confederation president and executive board elected

Riccardo Fraccari is the new leader of the World Baseball Softball Confederation / WBSC
Riccardo Fraccari is the new leader of the World Baseball Softball Confederation / WBSC

CHAD WISE / Sports Features Communications

(SFC) The World Baseball Softball Confederation held its inaugural congress in Hammamet, Tunisia, where Italy’s Riccardo Fraccari was elected the organisation’s first president.

“I am tremendously honoured to be entrusted by my peers to lead the WBSC,” Fraccari said. “This role comes with an unprecedented level of responsibility and commitment – it’s an exciting and historic time, a ‘new era,’ for baseball and softball. I can already feel the weight of my shoulders.”

Fraccari was co-president with Don Porter in the early stages of the WBSC’s development in 2012 and will serve as president for one seven-year term until 2021.

“President Porter’s historic contributions leave an invaluable legacy that will forever be a part of softball and both the birth and growth of the WBSC,” Fraccari said. “I admire President Porter, and I plan to honour and help expand upon what he has built – and all of us will continue to count on him to share his advice and knowledge.”

The first executive board was also elected during the congress over the weekend, a process that was four years in the making to combine the two independent international sport federations.

“While I am particularly proud of what we have accomplished to arrive to this historic day here in Africa, the vision and unity – and opportunities – that baseball and softball now share would not be possible without the guidance and support we received from the International Olympic Committee and leaders like President Bach,” Fraccari said.

Fraccari and the executive board have been given seven-year terms to ensure an adequate growth plan could be implemented. After the second set of elections in 2021, elections will be made in four-year cycles in the years following each Olympic Summer Games.

Last year, a joint-bid by the baseball and softball federations to get both sports reinstated to the Olympic Programme was denied when wrestling was voted to keep its place in the Olympic Summer Games.

“The WBSC will be at the full service of the IOC and Olympic Movement, and the WBSC will offer its total cooperation and partnership to the Olympic Family members to grow the Olympic Movement and the WBSC will be fully prepared for potential opportunities for baseball and softball to once again join the Olympic Family in the greatest and most important sports event in the world, the Olympic Games,” Fraccari said.

“The WSBC will absolutely press forward to further globalise, commercialise, and protect our exclusive properties, the national team event platforms – which I anticipate will continue their increase in terms of market value and global reach – in order to show what can be delivered to the Olympic Games, especially during this critical ‘Olympic Agenda 2020’ review. The WSBC will put its full trust and confidence in the IOC, and I hope – and we are working very hard – so that one day our athletes and our sport can be part of the Olympic Games.”

Keywords · World Baseball Softball Confederation · WBSC · Tunisia · Olympics · International Olympic Committee · IOC ·

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