PARIS, France – The World Baseball Softball Confederation today welcomed the establishment of WBSC Europe following the historic merger of the Confederation of European Baseball (CEB) and the European Softball Federation (ESF), extending the WBSC brand and structure to the sport at the unprecedented continental level.

Delegates of 38 National Baseball and Softball Federations unanimously approved the merger at the recent joint European Baseball Softball Congress in Paris, France.

“The establishment of WBSC Europe – uniting the baseball and softball movements in this pivotal growth market – is another historic step toward building a billion-member community over the next decade, and becoming a major global and long-term Olympic sport,” said WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari. “WBSC applauds the leadership and shared baseball-softball vision of CEB, ESF and all the European National Federations on this historic day.”

CEB President Didier Seminet and ESF President Gabriel Waage were appointed co-chairmen of the new WBSC Europe.

“We are confident that the new WBSC Europe body will both streamline and reinforce the promotion of baseball and softball throughout Europe, and also cross-promote and enhance the marketability of the WBSC Europe Championships, which will serve as qualifiers for WBSC’s Baseball World Cups and Softball World Cups,” said WBSC Europe Co-Chairmen Seminet and Waage.

The CEB-ESF merger aligns with the governance, strategic plan and precedent set at the world level, with the merger of the international baseball and softball federations (IBAF and ISF), which led to the founding and ratification of the WBSC at the World Baseball Softball Congress 2014 in the North African country of Tunisia.

To guide the transition of the CEB-ESF merger, along with the drafting of the constitution, a 10-member WBSC Europe Interim Executive Board was appointed in Paris. The interim board has been mandated to present WBSC Europe’s full organisational structure and constitution to the joint CEB and ESF Congress in 2019 for ratification.

Leaders from WBSC Europe and world governing body WBSC will collaborate closely on the CEB-ESF merger.