HAVANA.- (ACN) Italian Riccardo Fraccari, president of the World Baseball and Softball Confederation (WBSC), said in Havana that the challenge of this organization now is to maintain the presence of these sports into the Olympic program.

Last week I was in China, Korea and the Dominican Republic, three countries with great baseball tradition, to see what the situation was there after the absence at Rio 2016 Olympic Games, and I met with their federations and professional organizations, Fraccari noted.

At a press conference at Latinoamericano Stadium, the WBSC leader explained that one of the reasons baseball was withdrawn from the Olympic context was due to the fraction between professionals and amateurs.

The image that baseball projected to IOC was a non-globalized and totally fragmented sport, that's why we were taken out of Olympics and now we have to look for ways to prevent that from happening again.

Fraccari also emphasized the need to have strong Olympic qualifying tournaments and economic confederation, thus helping WBSC members.