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Leading nations partner to boost baseball/softball in France

January 22, 2019

Lausanne, Switzerland --   Leading nations partner to boost baseball/softball in France

World Baseball Softball Confederation, Maison du Sport International, Av. de Rhodanie 54, Lausanne, 1007 Switzerland
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Leading nations partner to boost baseball/softball in France
Baseball, Softball leaders in 2020, 2024 and 2028 Olympic host nations -- Japan, France and USA -- sign MoU to strengthen Paris 2024 Olympic bid
ROME, Italy -- The baseball and softball federations in the host nations of the next three Summer Olympic Games -- Japan (2020), France (2024) and USA (2028) -- have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to boost baseball and softball in France, a novel cooperation in the Olympic spirit strengthening the case to feature baseball and softball at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
The agreement -- which has been designed to promote international collaboration on youth development, coaching and high performance -- was signed between the Baseball Federation of Japan (BFJ), the Japan Softball Association (JSA), the French Baseball and Softball Federation (FFBS), USA Baseball and USA Softball at the recent World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Executive Board meeting in Rome.  
"This incredible act of international cooperation and sportsmanship can only be inspired by the greatest sports platform on the planet, the Olympic Games," said WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari. "The global baseball-softball community embraces the values of the Olympics and wishes to promote the spread of them at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, helping to build immense momentum and continuity for the Olympic Movement from Tokyo 2020 to LA 2028 Games, if our sport remains on the Olympic Programme.
"This is a unique opportunity in which Paris 2024 and the International Olympic Committee can leverage baseball/softball's national sport status in the Games preceding and succeeding Paris 2024 -- passing the torch and building the Olympic spotlight from Tokyo 2020 to LA 2028."  
FFBS President Didier Seminet said: "We're delighted to have signed an agreement with the world's two leading baseball and softball nations. Our membership is up 50% over the last 10 years and we believe that this partnership will boost these figures even more dramatically over the next three Olympic cycles, as we try to realise the dream of our French baseball and softball athletes to play for their home country in the Olympic Games of Paris 2024."
The MoU will see Japan and USA play warm-up and exhibition games with teams from France in the build-up to major international competitions at every age group. French players and coaches will also have the opportunity to train with the top two teams in the Olympic disciplines of men's baseball and women's softball. 
Under the agreement Japan and USA will send coaching envoys to France to help develop technical skills, physical conditioning and nutrition, and coaching techniques. The MoU provides for ongoing dialogue and knowledge sharing between the federations for the benefit of the global baseball-softball community.
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About the World Baseball Softball Confederation 
Headquartered in Lausanne, Switzerland -- the Olympic Capital -- the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) is the world governing body for baseball and softball. WBSC has 208 National Federation and Associate Members in 135 countries and territories across Asia, Africa, Americas, Europe and Oceania, which represent a united baseball/softball sports movement that encompasses over 65 million athletes and attracts approximately 150 million fans to stadiums worldwide annually. 
The WBSC governs all international competitions involving official National Teams. The WBSC oversees the Premier12, World Baseball Classic, Baseball World Cups, Softball World Cups and Softball World Championships, as well as baseball and softball events at the Olympic Games.

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