olympicbaseball October 26th, 2007
According to IBAF president Harvey Schiller, changing Olympic Baseball Qualifier schedule is not possible.
The reason is due to the Olympic qualifier already sold the marketing and television rights and it’s based on the initial dates of March 3-9, if change, IBAF will face serious legal challenges. Schiller also complain about previous IBAF left some mess.
Officials can’t alter dates of Olympic baseball qualifier
International Baseball Federation president says ‘hands are tied’
Last Updated: Thursday, October 25, 2007 | 9:44 PM ET CBC Sports
Canada’s national men’s baseball team will not get its wish to have next spring’s Olympic qualifying tournament rescheduled.
International Baseball Federation (IBF) president Harvey Schiller said Thursday his hands are tied from changing the event beyond March 7-14 in Taiwan.
Baseball Canada officials are upset that the IBF ignored their calls and those from Australia and Mexico to change the dates.
As it stands, the three countries won’t have access to most of their best available players, while the Asian entrants in the qualifier will have no such problems in securing the release of their top talent.
“That’s why they elected me president, so they wouldn’t have this junk going on in the future,” said Schiller, who replaced the late Aldo Notari in March. “The problem we’ve inherited is mismanagement and we’ve inherited a lot of things we need to make better going forward.
“We inherited a mess and we’re not going to let these things happen again.”
That could be moot as baseball is off the Olympic lineup following the 2008 Beijing Games, scheduled for Aug. 8-24. The earliest the sport could return is 2016.
Host China, the United States, Cuba and the Netherlands have already qualified for next year’s tourney. An Asian team will be added Dec. 3 following a Taiwan tournament, with the final three berths to be determined next spring.
Canadian officials wanted the qualifier to be pushed back to April, when most spring training camps have wrapped up and the rosters of major-league teams are settled.
Their proposal to split the qualifier into two tournaments wasn’t possible, said Schiller.
All players not in the majors are eligible to play as long as their teams release them.
“Unfortunately, this tournament has more relevant importance because of our goal to get back on the Olympic program,” said Schiller.
“I was disappointed that we couldn’t find a compromise that would allow the best players from every country to participate.”
He added organizers of the Olympic qualifier sold the marketing and television rights to a Japanese company that has subsequently sold sponsorships and broadcasting rights based on the initial dates of March 3-9.
Schiller said moving the tournament to the current dates was a best-case scenario.
“It’s counter to the agreements we have on television and marketing,” he said. “We’d be facing serious legal challenges based on our previous agreements.”
So the Olympic Baseball Qualifier game (relate to the last three team) is schedule on March 7-14 in Taiwan, and scheduled of 2008 Beijing Games is Aug. 8-24.