Exclusive: Softball promise not to rush into Olympic alliance with baseball
Sunday, 17 July 2011
July 17 - Softball will not be rushed into making a decision about whether or not they should make a joint bid with baseball for inclusion in the 2020 Olympics, the head of the sport has told insidethegames.
Both sports were earlier this month included on a short-list of eight that are being considered for inclusion in 2020 but baseball and softball have been considering joining forces to present one joint bid, which it is believed could boost the chances of them regaining their places on the Olympic programme.
Baseball and softball were controvrsially voted off the programme for London 2012 by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) at its Session in Singapore in 2005.
The International Baseball Federation (IBAF) and the International Softball Federation (ISF) issued a joint statement earlier this year confirming that they had held talks about analysing potential savings that could come from sharing an Olympic venue and housing at the Olympic Village.
But Don Porter, the President of the ISF, has promised that no decision will be made until at least their biennialCongress in Oklahoma City, which is due to be held between October 27 and 30, when its 127 members will be able to discuss the situation properly.
"We are not going to make a quick decision because the IOC have told us it's not something that needs immediate decision as to whether or not we are going to work with baseball," Porter told insidethegames here where he has been attending the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) General Assembly and where he held talks with Riccardo Fraccari, the President of the IBAF.
"We have to bring this before our Congress.
"We want to give all our members an opportunity to express what they think about it and look at all possibilities, all angles to it.
"I think by that time – the latter part of the year – we will be in a better position to make a decision one way or the other."
Baseball and softball were included on the short-list along with karate, roller sports, sports climbing, squash, wakeboard and wushu by the IOC's ruling Executive Board during its meeting in Durban for consideration for inclusion for 2020.
The list could be cut further after London 2012 and before the IOC makes a decision to choose one sport for inclusion in 2020 at its Session in Buenos Aires, which is due to held in September 2013.
"In Durban I met with [IOC's Sports Director] Christophe Dubi and discussed quite a few things about the overall process," said Porter.
"I had a short meeting with [IOC President] Jacques Rogge and naturally spoke to a lot of IOC members while I was there.
"We are still talking [with baseball].
"We've talked before several months ago several times and we are going to continue to explore the possibilities."
July 2011: IOC to consider eight sports for 2020 Olympics
April 2011: Baseball and softball set to hold talks on joint Olympic bid at SportAccord
August 2010: Softball turns down baseball offer to work together for Olympic reinclusion
January 2010: Baseball refuse to give up on Olympic 2016 dream
October 2009: Softball plans to rebrand after Olympic failure