April 17, 2017
Mozambique are laying the groundwork for the creation of a national baseball and softball federation, according to the sport's world governing body.
World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) President Riccardo Fraccari recently visited Mozambique to observe the status and levels of support baseball and softball have in the country.
The WBSC held meetings with local baseball leaders, the national sports ministry and the Mozambique National Olympic Committee (CONM) to outline the steps, criteria and strategic plans for establishing the new federation.
Baseball’s development in the East African nation is said to be gaining support from the highest Governmental levels, including Mozambique's National Institute of Sport and the CONM.
It is claimed the sport is beginning to flourish through grassroots efforts and baseball's growing global visibility.
Fraccari said the creation of the Mozambique Baseball Softball Federation would soon be necessary to help harness the current growth and give the sport an official status in the country, as well as official recognition and support at international level.
"There is a concrete, positive movement and enthusiasm for baseball in Mozambique, which is attracting a growing number of young people to try the sport," Fraccari said.
"The budding interest in baseball has also been noted by Governmental authorities here, as it represents an opportunity to expand the sporting landscape in Mozambique while having a positive impact on local economies."
WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari recently visited Mozambique to observe the status and levels of support baseball and softball have in the country ©Getty Images
The leaders also attended a baseball game together, organised by Mozambique baseball pioneer and former Stanford University star, Edward Orrizzi.
"Mr Orrizzi is leading a great movement of baseball in Mozambique, one that transcends sport and is touching young people's lives and serving society," Fraccari added.
"These are the values at the core of our sport and the WBSC will explore all opportunities with the authorities here to advance baseball in Mozambique."
The WBSC says baseball and softball's return to the Olympic Games at Tokyo 2020 has added serious legitimacy behind investing in the sport, particularly in new and emerging baseball and softball territories such as Africa and the Middle East.
Baseball/softball was added to the Tokyo 2020 sport programme last year after the International Olympic Committee approved proposals from Japanese organisers.
Karate, skateboarding, sport climbing and surfing were also added to the programme.