Taiwan baseball to bow out of Olympic qualifier

Taiwan's baseball squad has decided against taking part in the final qualifier for the Tokyo Olympic Games in light of the continuing spread of the new coronavirus.

Taiwan was to host the final qualifier, which was set to start on June 16. The winner would secure the last available slot at the Tokyo Games.

But Taiwanese authorities on May 19 suspended entry of foreign nationals without resident status.

The decision prompted the World Baseball and Softball Confederation, the WBSC, to move the tournament to Mexico.

Last week, Taiwan's professional baseball league decided against dispatching any players in Taiwan to the qualifier.
The league said the decision was based on the need to ensure the health and safety of those involved, and to avoid placing additional burden on its medical systems.

As a result, the Chinese Taipei Baseball Association began discussing forming a team made up of amateur players.

But authorities were unable to secure a camping ground within Taiwan as a result of the recent coronavirus outbreak. At the same time, anti-infection measures in Mexico reportedly failed to meet Taiwan's standards.

The association says it will formally convey its decision to the WBSC after obtaining approval from Taiwanese authorities.

The final qualifier will be contested between Australia, the Netherlands and the second and third-placed squads from among teams in the Americas.