Olympics 2008 News
IBAF vows to bring baseball back to 2020 Olympics
May 16, 2011, 12:44 GMT
Taipei - The International Baseball Federation (IBAF) kicked off a global campaign in Taipei Monday to try to re-install baseball as an Olympics sport at the 2020 Games.
IBAF president Riccardo Fraccari launched the campaign at a ceremony in Taipei, and joined dozens of teenage baseball players in lighting a torch for the campaign.
'The next two years are crucial for IBAF as we must find answers to all the questions asked by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) regarding why baseball should be included in Olympics,' he said.
'We must convince IOC that baseball is not only a sport fit for people of all countries, all ages and all genders, it is also a commodity which can generate revenues,' he said.
Baseball was an Olympic sport from 1992-2008, but has been cut from the 2012 London Olympics and the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.
The IBAF is rallying support to re-install baseball at the 2020 Olympics.
Speaking at the ceremony, Taiwan baseball player Kao Chih-kang said that the biggest impact of baseball's exclusion from Olympics is on players' training.
'Our slogan is 'Play for the Olympics.' Now that baseball is kicked out of Olympics, there is no incentive for player to train,' he said.
The IOC will decide at a meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland, on July 4 the shortlist for the sports to be installed into the 2020 Olympics, and make the final decision in 2013.
Six or seven sports, including baseball, softball, rugby and kabaddi, are under consideration to be re-installed as Olympic sports, but only about two will be approved.
Fraccari said the IBAF and the International Softball Federation would make a joint bid to get baseball and softball into the Olympics.
They will apply to the IOC to re-install men's baseball and women's softball as one sport, two events at the 2020 Olympic Games.
Baseball was introduced to Taiwan by Japanese about 100 years ago and became Taiwan's national sport in 2000. It is played mostly in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, the US and parts of Latin America.
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