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[10/4/2013] IBAF: Italy to play in 2013 Asia Series

by on Oct.04, 2013 @ 3:13 pm, under International

According to a report at the International Baseball Federation website, the Italian Baseball League's Fortitudo Bologna will be participating in the 2013 Asia Series.

The Asia Series Executive Committee approved expanding the competition to include the winner of the annual European Cup, which was won in August by Bologna in a field that included league champions from the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, San Marino, Spain and Switzerland.

The reason why the series was expanded to include the European Cup champion:

Asia Series executives cited the accelerating global growth of baseball and the increasing competitive levels in Europe in top-tier international competitions, from the youth to elite categories, over the last few years as being among the motives for the expansion.

WBSC Co-president Riccardo Fraccari comments on the inclusion of Europe:

"Having a European team in the 2013 Asia Series is a historic landmark that further validates not only our sport's continued rise in Europe, but also the worldwide development and appeal of baseball as a whole. The inclusion of Europe will enrich the Asia Series and further its reach strategically."

"The WBSC fully shares this vision of a unifying 'Worldwide Series' and endorses this new pathway for European clubs to be included in an elite international competition like the Asia Series. This platform will provide ballplayers in Europe with an exciting new opportunity to showcase their talents, while further increasing interest in and exposure to European baseball in key regions and markets - and in Europe itself - which will ultimately add value across the board for European clubs, leagues and National Federations moving forward."

Source: IBAF 10/2/2013