top of page

The Ministry of Sports of Colombia clarifies its position on the V Intercontinental Baseball Series and FEPCUBE's participation

Colombian sporting body says the tournament has not been endorsed by their main international sports organizations As the newly created FEPCUBE, a federation that seeks to represent Cuban professional baseball players, most of whom are outside Cuba, is in the process of selecting and training its team for the V Intercontinental Baseball Series - an invitational tournament created by brothers Edgar and Edinson Rentería and which will be played in Barranquilla, Colombia from January 26 to February 1 -, the Colombian Baseball Federation and the country's Olympic Committee issued an official statement yesterday about the event, but in essence, about the participation of the FEPCUBE team. First of all, the statement clarifies the type of event, private and by invitation. It makes it clear that neither the FCB (Colombian Baseball Federation) nor the COC (Colombian Olympic Committee) have approved the competition. Furthermore, the request for financing the event by the Ministry of Sports was denied, considering that this type of request must be presented by national federations, which is not the case for this organization, which is private. Later, the statement states FEPCUBE's intention to use at least two patriotic Cuban symbols in the event, the flag and the national anthem. In it, the Colombian Ministry of Sports rejects such an intention, as it constitutes an infringement of Cuba's constitutional and sporting rights. Leaving aside the passion and feelings associated with the event and Cuban teams' participation, it is clear that FEPCUBE has not been correctly informed about the procedure in cases like this in competitions within countries that belong to the International Olympic Committee and, in the case of baseball, to the World Baseball and Softball Confederation (WBSC). With the statement, even though some requests may have been made to the Colombian side by the Cuban Baseball Federation in this regard - nothing illogical and that everyone should have thought would happen -, the Ministry of Sports of Colombia, which directly involves the Colombian Olympic Committee and in terms of federations to the Colombian Baseball Federation and which has recently been hit by the loss of the venue for the 2027 Pan American Games, precisely in the city of Barranquilla, is essentially putting into effect the statutes for international competitions involving national federations of other countries integrated into the International Olympic Committee, and in the case of baseball, to the WBSC's statutes regarding events that do not have the support of said organization. Taking a look at just two articles from said world organization, numbers 3 and 5, will provide you with much information. Article 3  As per Article 19.2 of the WBSC Statutes regarding international play, “WBSC Full Members are the only authorities in each country to select their National Team and have the exclusive right to represent the country or territory name, flag and colours. ” As for Article 5, it clarifies and outlines the directives for something like what FEPCUBE intended in its participation in Colombia. Let's take a look. Article 5  Misrepresentation and fraud: where a team is not the National Team acting under the authority of the National Federation and/or respective National Olympic Committee  - and/or where a competition has not been duly sanctioned by the WBSC -  the uniform colours and style of such team competing in an international competition must not be the same as or similar to any National Team uniforms of the WBSC Member. The National Flag of the country of that National Federation must not appear on the uniform and such team should not be promoted/positioned as a team representing a country or nation on any media outlets (broadcasting, website, social media, print publications, etc.). There isn't much more to add, as you can see. International competitions, especially those that include national federations, such as the V Intercontinental Series with the invited teams and the host country. These competitions must comply with the existing rules for international sports competitions when participating in these types of events. Representatives of a country, other than the country's federation, cannot be its representatives without the authorization of the country they seek to represent. There are many examples and we can think of non-national North American baseball teams that have represented the country on several occasions in events such as the well-known tournaments organized in Holland, Haarlem, and Rotterdam, or in cases where North American national teams have not participated in the baseball editions of the Pan-American games (1951 & 1995). In all those events, the national federation of the country has always certified and approved it, as well as the North American Olympic Committee for the two Pan American teams. The Intercontinental Baseball Series - formerly the Latin American Series - can also succeed in future editions by incorporating the event into the calendar of international competitions organized by the WBSC. Despite that, even the FEPCUBE team won't be allowed to participate in the tournament in this case. This is of course, without permission from the Cuban side, i.e., the Cuban national federation. Below, we present the official statement issued yesterday by the Colombian Ministry of Sports.

FEPCUBE and the Intercontinental Series were the topics of a statement issued by the Colombian Ministry of Sports

bottom of page