WBSC, Cuba sign historic agreement that helps players to return to National Team

WBSC, Cuba sign historic agreement that helps players to return to National Team
Cuban baseball players will be able to play in foreign leagues and still be welcomed onto the Cuban National Team under the new agreement, with WBSC acting as the intermediary. All players who have left Cuba can contact WBSC to express their interest and apply for the Cuban National Baseball Team. Player welfare, development and training at the heart of new agreement, with national federations all around the world set to benefit.

LAUSANNE, Switzerland -- World Baseball Softball Confederation President Riccardo Fraccari has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Cuba Baseball Federation, which will help Cuban baseball athletes to play in foreign leagues around the world and still be eligible to play for the Cuban National Team.

The agreement, signed in the lobby of the capital city sports coliseum by President Fraccari and Cuba Baseball Federation President Higinio Velez, will also see both parties cooperate on actions that will assist with the development of baseball in Cuba and around the world.

"This is something historical because it opens a new path for Cuba, for the development of baseball, as well as possibilities for the athletes of the Cuban Federation to participate in other leagues," Fraccari said. “It is a solution to many of the problems that Cuba baseball has. Athletes are going to have new opportunities. This week at the International Federation Forum in Lausanne, Switzerland one of the topics is ‘Safeguarding Athletes’ and this agreement fits completely under this umbrella.”

"Cuban baseball players are some of the best in the world, and it's important that our national team reflects this,” Velez added. “Baseball is a religion in Cuba and we have a responsibility to our fans and players worldwide to put our best team on the field. Thanks to this agreement with WBSC, we will be in a position to put together the strongest-ever Cuban baseball team.”

The new agreement, which is valid for three years and will be renewed automatically on an annual basis, will also act retroactively so any Cuban player who had left the country to play overseas and who would like to play for the Cuban national team, can do so by contacting the WBSC who will bring the player and the Cuba Baseball Federation together.

Other points included in the MOU include the construction of facilities, training of specialists, academic exchanges, sports medicine and World Anti-Doping Code compliance, as well as the facilitation of bi-lateral projects between the Cuba Baseball Federation and other WBSC members.