DISARRAY IN VENEZUELA
XII OPENING CEREMONIES:PROBLEMS
Despite the statement by ISF President Don Porter on May 28 (see below), US and Australian sources are sending emails to friends in the USA complaining that the fields are not ready, that the dugouts are not in place, and that the opening ceremonies have to be shifted.
USA officials confirmed to SPY Wednesday afternoon that the fields are not ready, that the dugouts are not in place (a day before the opening games), and that the ceremonies may have to be shifted.
A late night report from USA officials in Caracas was a mix of positive and negative and must be noted: ” Hotel is adequate and the food is o.k. The local volunteers are outstanding and have been very helpful. Plenty of translators and the government is working hard to make this event happen. The military is everywhere providing security and eveyone in the hotel has a credential. No where to go except to the games and back. We play on field #2 tomorrow and that is where they held opening ceremonies tonight. It looks like it will be fine and I was impressed with the seating and ammenities. We’ll find out tomorrow how good the fields are to play upon. Field #1 was not ready for opening ceremonies tonight and the two games that were scheduled to be played today. Not sure what they will do if the #1 field is not ready tomorrow.”
The Porter statement/press release of May 28:
“International Softball Federation president, Don Porter, was really impressed for the progress of the construction and renovation of stadiums El Poliedrito and Las Mayas, after an inspection and evaluation tour.
“Porter, along with members of the ISF Coordination Commission, Julio Hellburg (Referees Commission), Et Colvin (ISF Vice-President for North America) and Laury Gouthro (Director of World Events) will return to United States confident that Venezuela will comply, as planned, with the organization of the XII Women’s World Softball Championship, to be held in Caracas, Venezuela, between 23 June and 2 July.
“Organizing Committee members, Alfredo León (Deputy Minister for Physical Activity and Recreation), Leopoldo García (Director of the Minister’s Office) and Jesús Suniaga (President of the Venezuelan Softball Federation), accompanied the ISF representatives in the tour.
”I’m really impressed by what I’ve seen. I came here four months ago and I am very pleased to see the tremendous work it has been done for the event. I’m very happy to see the progress and particularly with the details, especially in El Poliedrito, the venue of La Rinconada”, said ISF president.
“Porter stressed that the construction and remodeling work has been done in record time. “I’m thinking about the venue the Chinese built for the 2005 Youth World Championship. It was made in ten months, but Venezuelans here in Caracas are building two extraordinary stadiums in just four months. It is to be admired. All Venezuelans must feel really proud of this great effort, “stressed the international leader.”