January 22, 2019 / 1:03 PM / a year ago

Olympics: Host nations sign MoU to promote baseball, softball ahead of Paris 2024

FILE PHOTO: Olympic rings to celebrate the IOC official announcement that Paris won the 2024 Olympic bid are seen in front of the Eiffel Tower at the Trocadero square in Paris, France, September 16, 2017. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

(Reuters) - Baseball and softball federations in the host nations of the next three Olympic Games have agreed to work together to boost the profiles of their sports in France with a view to increasing their chances of being included in the Games in Paris in 2024.

Baseball will feature at the next edition of the Olympics Games in Japan in 2020, returning for the first time since Beijing 2008.

Japan has signed a memorandum of understanding with 2024 Olympic hosts France and 2028 hosts the United States to promote international collaboration in baseball and softball, the World Baseball Softball Confederation said on Tuesday.

“This incredible act of international cooperation and sportsmanship can only be inspired by the greatest sports platform on the planet, the Olympic Games,” WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari said.

As part of the agreement, Japan and the United States will play warm-up and exhibition games with teams from France in the build-up to major international competitions in every age group, and will send coaching envoys to France.

Reporting by Simon Jennings in Bengaluru; Editing by Hugh Lawson

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