In September last year, you could read a blog post about the farce that the Olympic Qualification actually is. Today, I discovered another disturbing fact that supports the previous blog post.
In the previous blog post, you could read about the strange rule the WBSC is using. For Europe, there are/were only two options to qualify: The European/African Qualifier and the Olympic Qualifier for runners up in Taichung, Taiwan. Even though the team participated in the Premier 12, where it didn’t quite live up to the expectations, the Dutch could not punch a ticket to Tokyo in that tournament, while other countries from the Americas, Oceania, and Asia could. The WBSC has made the rules of Qualification in such a way that Europe only has one shot besides the European Qualifier.
Australia has been chosen as representative of Oceania in the final Olympic Qualifier. Chosen… Why you may wonder? Sure the level of baseball in New Zealand and Samoa isn’t as good as in Australia. But why don’t New Zealand and Samoa get the chance to qualify for the final qualifier? If the WBSC would have been a transparent organization, I would have sent an e-mail to ask it but recent experiences have shown me that the WBSC doesn’t answer e-mails with critical questions.
In the upcoming Olympic Qualifier for the Americas in Arizona (March 22nd – 26th), only the winner will qualify for Tokyo. But… not only the runner up will have a chance to qualify in Taichung also the team that finishes third in Arizona will. The same with Asia. Taiwan, no. 1 (!) of the Asian Championship and China, no. 3 of that tournament will also play in Taichung. Why Taiwan did not qualify automatically as it won the tournament, is not clear to me. Likely because Japan as a host is qualified automatically.
Why does the WBSC treat the European continent and Oceania differently? Why are Asia and America favored over those two parts of the world? If the Italians and Dutch will be able to use minor leaguers, they still can have competitive teams. Why else did the Dutch win the 2011 World Cup?
The timing of the final qualifier is poor, to put it mildly. During that period, minor leaguers are fighting for a spot at their club. There is a big chance they will rather stay in the USA than representing the Dutch team. As the Dutch competition isn’t as strong as those in Taiwan, Australia or the Americas, the chance they will punch a ticket for the Olympics is close to none. It looks like Fraccari has chosen this date on purpose.
Due to the behavior of Riccardo Fraccari, the WBSC had lost its credibility already. The different treatment of Europe and Oceania does not improve that. I don’t like to use the word, but in fact, this is discrimination.