December 13 - A new unified world body governing both baseball and softball has been officially given the go-ahead following a postal ballot conducted by the International Baseball Federation (IBAF).
There was unanimous approval for the plan which has been hatched to try and help the two sports regain their places on the Olympic programme in time for 2020.
The vote by the IBAF followed the decision at the International Softball Federation (ISF) Congress in Dallas in October to formally approve establishing a single international baseball and softball organisation to oversee the sports.
"This is another critical step in the long-term prosperity and development of softball and baseball worldwide," said Riccardo Fraccari, President of the IBAF,
"We are moving forward with our colleagues from softball in an effort to streamline administration, add key support to our athletes and NFs (National Federations) and further develop our sports, and we look forward to presenting an exceptional value proposal to the Olympic Movement for 2020 and beyond."
ISF's President, Don Porter, received the positive news during his latest meetings with Fraccari in Rome, where they were discussing their sports joint presentation to the International Olympic Committee's Programme Commission in Lausanne on Wednesday (December 19).
"We congratulate and applaud our partners at IBAF on this historic decision which puts the interests of all our athletes and our sports first," Porter said.
"As we prepare our first important presentation to the IOC [Programme Commission] as a joint IF (International Federation) in a few days, this confirmation from IBAF gives us added inspiration and momentum."
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