The World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) has announced that matches of the 17th Women’s Softball World Cup will be held in Ireland in July 2023, with Fingal set to co-host the prestigious event with locations in Italy and Spain.
The competition, which will have 16 teams from around the world participating, will attract elite players competing for the trophy.
This is only the second time the World Cup has been held in Europe, with the final to be played Italy.
The event was first held in 1965 and has included world champions from Australia, Japan, New Zealand and the USA. The current reigning team is the USA, who have won the title a staggering 11 times.
Welcoming the announcement, the outgoing Mayor of Fingal Seána Ó Rodaigh said: “This is a fantastic win for Ireland and is especially good news for the community in Dublin 15 who will be able to see the world’s best softballers competing right on their doorstep. St Catherine’s Park will be a superb venue for what is the premier tournament for women’s softball and help put Fingal in the spotlight as games are broadcast internationally.”
AnnMarie Farrelly, Chief Executive of Fingal County Council, said: “Being selected to host a global spectacle like the Women’s Softball World Cup is a wonderful achievement.
“This is a massively popular sport that encourages participation across all age groups, cultures and communities, and I hope our hosting will help inspire the next generation of female athletes from across the county.
“We have been working closely with Fastpitch Ireland to show the WBSC that Fingal was the best location in Ireland to accommodate elite athletes with the right facilities to make the tournament a success, so this is a welcome outcome for that joint effort.”
Melanie Cunningham, Director of Fastpitch Ireland said: “The awarding of the World Cup to Ireland is a testament to the standing of Team Ireland and the Irish Federation in the WBSC. A lot of hard work has been put into developing the bid with Fingal and we are very grateful for their support and vision to join us in the bid.”