It was to be expected but now the WBSC has actually announced it. The Final Olympic Qualifier in Taiwan, which would have taken place early April, will be postponed due to the coronavirus.
After consulting with medical and governmental authorities, a joint decision by the WBSC and the Local Organising Committee has been taken to postpone the event.
The decision was announced in a joined effort by the WBSC, the Chinese Taipei Baseball Association (CTBA) and the Chinese Taipei Professional Baseball League (CPBL).
The tournament that would have been played in Taichung and Dou Liu will now be scheduled from June 17 through June 21.
The decision is quite understandable but it will cause problems for the participating countries as most of them will be in the midst of their national competitions. An exception to this is Australia, which competition runs from November through January.
Even though MLB has announced that the participants of the Olympic Games and qualifiers will be allowed to use (top) minor leaguers, it will be questionable if this still will be the case as the minor league season is already taking place by June 17.
Take the Netherlands for example. Shortly after the new dates of the final Olympic Qualifier, the Haarlem Baseball Week will take place. Due to the rescheduling of the OQ, the competition round of Thursday, June 18, Saturday, June 20 and Sunday, June 21 needs to be rescheduled and it is highly unlikely that it will be rescheduled in the period of the Haarlem Baseball Week (June 26 through July 5).
More on this to follow.