by Pim van Nes
This morning in Haarlem City Hall, secretary general John Ostermayer (Australia) presided the second IBAF press conference about the progress made towards the 2009 World Cup tournament. He was assisted by CEB president Martin Miller (Germany), KNBSB president Ruud van Zetten (Netherlands) and FIBS president Riccardo Fraccari (Italy). IBAF and press were cordially welcomed by Haarlem Mayor Berndt Schneiders, before Martin Miller presented the official logo and jingle of the next year’s World Cup.
Five European countries are ready to host each a four-team tournament in one city for phase one: Russia with capital Moscow, Sweden with capital Stockholm, Czech Republic with capital Prague, Spain with regional capital Barcelona and Germany in prominent baseball city Regensburg. For phase two Netherlands have presented capital Amsterdam and neighboring baseball cities Rotterdam and Haarlem for the eight-team round robin.
For the other eight-team round robin, Italy has listed 15 cities to host its seven-day round robin tournament in phase two: Serie A1 cities Bologna, Parma and Rimini and in baseball lower ranking cities Bollate, Codogno, Firenze, Macerata, Milano, Piacenza, Reggio Emilia, Torino, Trieste, Verona, Vicenza and introducing the eighth European country San Marino. Italian federation FIBS has announced that even more cities can apply for a share in the tournament till July 15.
Same applies for phase three, entirely to be hosted by Italian cities in the southern part of the country. Two Serie A1 cities have reacted positively on the Italian World Cup ambitions towards the finale games: Grosseto (150 km north of Rome) and Nettuno. Lower ranking baseball cities are also in for the eight-best-teams final round: Anzio, Caserta, Matino, Messina, Palermo and even Rome is back on the Italian scene as candidate for the Grand Finale on Sunday September 27th 2009.
Pim van Nes
Baseball writer for