Fraccari blames athlete number cuts and venue issues for WBSC's Paris exclusion
Speaking at a press conference in Florida to announce USA as the host of the 2021 U-18 Baseball World Cup, Fraccari said: “The problem of Paris was not only the conditions, but the athletes in the Olympic Park are 10,500, plus in the new reforms of the IOC they have some additional sports for the moment. In Tokyo, the [athletes for] additional sports was 500. In Paris, only 100. It means that team sports like ours were penalised."
He has already met with IOC president Thomas Bach to discuss the federation’s continuing relationship with the Olympic Movement and is proposing that Baseball5, a short-format, urban version of the sport, be included in future Youth Olympics.
Fraccari said: “To be in the Olympics is important to show how global your sport is. Does soccer need to be in the Olympics? They want to be there because it is a marketing stage.”
He added that there are also significant financial benefits for national federations, saying: "I just give you one number. When after Beijing baseball was out of the Olympics, in general it lost more than $500 million. This is... money each federation lost because the federations seek their money from the Olympic committees. If the sport is in the Olympics, there is money. If not, there isn’t money.”
He said: “In Tokyo, we’ll be the number one sport for sure. They [the organisers] are calculating to make a lot of money. I think they will sell out."
Fraccari said: "USA Baseball presented an excellent bid, vision and venue plan for one of youth sport's most prestigious World Championships, the Under-18 Baseball World Cup. The world's best young players and next generation of superstars will have an iconic stage - the same stadiums where top professionals play and train - to perform and showcase their talents to the passionate fans in the stands and those watching across the world.
"While the sport of baseball has never been as global as it is today, there has never been a more opportune time to bring the U-18 Baseball World Cup back to the U.S., where baseball, together with softball, has furthered its position as the most practiced team sport, with participation numbers increasing over 20 per cent to 25 million over the last five years, in the U.S. alone."