Taiwan's baseball team to withdraw from Olympic qualifying games

(Photo: People walk past the countdown clock for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games near Shimbashi station in Tokyo, on June 3, 2021, to mark 50 days before the start of the Summer Games.)

TAIPEI (June 3, Kyodo) -- Taiwan will not compete in the final qualifying round for the Tokyo Olympics due to concerns over COVID-19, local media reported on Wednesday.
The Central News Agency reported that the Chinese Taipei Baseball Association announced that it will not to send a team to Mexico for the final qualifying round for the Olympics because it could not find a practice facility here.
The report said that the association made the decision after the Yunlin County government declined its request to train at a county stadium due to the county's concerns over COVID-19 in Taiwan.
Earlier last month, the Taitung County government declined a similar request made by the association for the same reason.
The number of COVID-19 cases in Taiwan has been dramatically growing since the middle of last month. As of Wednesday, the total number of confirmed cases was 9,389, including 149 deaths.
In addition, the association was worried about the high number of coronavirus cases in Mexico.
The report said the association will seek approval from the Sports Administration before officially notifying the World Baseball Softball Confederation of its decision.
The decision to drop out of the Olympic qualifying tournament was a dramatic one.
The Chinese Professional Baseball League announced on May 25 that it would not allow its players to travel to Mexico due to concerns over COVID-19.
The Sports Administration then turned to the Chinese Taipei Baseball Association, which agreed to take up the task, but decided to drop out of the tournament on Wednesday.