An official of the International Baseball Association (IBA) said Saturday that the schedule of the 34th IBA World Cup final will not change, and that the opening and closing games will be held in Taipei as earlier decided.
IBA Chief Executive Miguel Ortin pointed out that all international sporting events have rules governing the selection of venues. He noted that the schedule of the championship was passed by the IBA executive committee June 2 in Athens and posted on the IBA website, which means that it is impossible to change it now.
On Kaohsiung County’s attempts to have the venue for the final and closing ceremony changed from Taipei to the southern county’s baseball stadium near the scenic Cheng Ching Lake, Ortin said that the stadium is indeed good.
But he noted that Taipei outbid Tampa, Florida, to win the hosting rights in Sydney in 1999, and that the IBA later signed a contractwith the Chinese Taipei Amateur Baseball Association stipulating that Taipei would be the host city. Kaohsiung was never mentioned as a venue and any argument about the venue should have brought up three years ago, he added.
He also said that though Cheng Ching Lake stadium is good, it does not mean that the world cup final and closing ceremony has to be held there, adding that if the best baseball field were to be selected every time, then perhaps all IBA games would have to take place in Yankee Stadium in New York City.
He stressed that the Nov. 6 opening ceremony, the Nov. 18 final and the closing ceremony of a world cup will all be held at the Tienmu Stadium in suburban Taipei.
Ortin said that following an inspection of the Tienmu stadium he was basically satisfied with what he saw, adding that there is still plenty of time to carry out improvement of some minor deficiencies.
Ortin also said that when he and other IBA members visit Taiwan again Sept. 24, he will look closely at four other fields located in northern and southern Taiwan that are venues for some of the other championship games.
A total of 16 countries will send their national teams to compete in the championship. The tournament will consist of 68 games, of which 21 will be held in Taipei, 20 in Hsinchuang, Taipei County, 13 in the southern country of Chiayi and 14 in Kaohsiung County.