PARIS, France — The French Baseball Softball Federation (FFBS) has officially established the French West Indies and French Guiana Baseball, Softball and Cricket League, as the French governing body looks to expand the sport’s growing popularity in French territories.

Based in the baseball and softball hotspot of the Caribbean, the French West Indies and French Guiana League will include three FFBS-affiliated clubs, as well as one in Guadeloupe and another in French Guiana.

The FFBS is helping to establish five additional clubs in the Caribbean: one in Guadeloupe, one in Martinique, one in French Guiana and two in Saint Martin. The creation of the League is the latest in a series of FFBS initiatives to develop the sport across French-speaking overseas territories. Baseball and softball’s burgeoning popularity, combined with their inclusiveness and accessibility – particularly for young people in communities with limited access to sports facilities – represent exciting opportunities for significant growth.

The new league will also provide a major boost to developing elite French players, tapping into a region that has produced some of the best baseball and softball players in the world. This might bring  tremendous advantage to the French national team that is looking to improve his World Ranking while keeping an eye on the upcoming Olympic Games on the home soil.

FFBS President Didier Seminet said in a statement: “I’m delighted to take this new step in the development of our sport in a region where the FFBS has launched several big, bold initiatives over the last few years. The creation of the League allows us to begin a more structured development of baseball and softball that will take us towards school-based practice and the creation of sporting infrastructure dedicated to our sport. I would like to thank the French West Indies and French Guiana League, and their President Midji Verdol, for their vision and commitment to our sport, without which we could not have reached this important milestone.”

President of the French West Indies and French Guiana League Midji Verdol was quoted on the same on the same paper:

“The goal of our association has always been to develop sport in Caribbean French territories at the grassroots level. We first launched this approach in late 2016 to help local kids discover new sports learn about their cultural, historical and linguistic significance. We will now work in harmony with the FFBS, which has shown great enthusiasm for developing the sport in the Caribbean. We want to grow and move forward together to ultimately produce a strong French team, full of talent from our region, that truly represents France in the 21st Century.”