President Fraccari addresses Cooperation with Professional Leagues
Improved Relationship between IBAF and Pro Baseball increases Chances to be re-admited onto Olympic Programme

KAOHSIUNG, Taiwan- The President of the International Baseball Federation (IBAF), Riccardo Fraccari, underlined the need to continue to strenghthen the relationship between the IBAF--baseball's international governing body--and the professional leagues around the world in order to increase baseball's chances to be re-admitted onto the Olympic Programme.

Fraccari spoke before the crowd during the final game of Major League Baseball's Taiwan Series, where a selection of MLB All-Stars took on the Chinese Taipei National Team.

"This collaboration with professional baseball and the presence of the best athletes on an international stage will serve to help the worldwide development of our sport and reinforce [baseball's] Olympic reinstatement campaign," he underlined.

"The IBAF recognizes and thanks the Chinese Taipei Baseball Association and Major League Baseball for organizing this baseball exhibition," Fraccari continued.

Back in 2005, the IOC voted to remove both baseball and softball from its Olympic Programme starting with the 2012 Games.

The IBAF stated baseball's case for reinstatement to the IOC in 2009, but votes cast put Rugby and Golf on the 2016 Olympic program.

After being elected president in December 2009, Fraccari has made it one the IBAF's top priorities to put baseball in the best possible position to regain Olympic status when the next IOC vote takes place in 2013.

Talks between the International Softball Federation (ISF) and the IBAF to submit a single candidature to the IOC have been ongoing.

Fraccari and IBAF favor a joint-bid with ISF and strongly suggest that the combined effort would produce a convincing case before the IOC.

Karate, roller sports, sports climbing, squash and wakeboarding are the other sports vying to be part of the 2020 Olympic Programme.

(From IBAF Website)