As advised in a previous post, a player for the Hong Kong national women’s team suffered a gunshot wound on Saturday during a game in Caracas, Venezuela, during the 2010 IBAF Women’s World Cup. Needless to say, the past 48 hours have been filled with information gathering and conversations/meetings on many different levels involving numerous tournament, security and governmental officials in Caracas.
After extensive briefings and consultation on Saturday with IBAF and government officials, the findings of the Venezuelan authorities was that the incident was the result of a firearm discharge from well beyond the perimeter of the stadium in Caracas and that the bullet was not intended for anyone associated with the Women's World Cup. The fact that it struck an athlete seems to be accidental, and that player is recovering after receiving medical attention.
We have been in constant contact with the Australian team leadership on the ground in Venezuela, as well as IBAF officials, our Federal Government and high ranking officials from USA baseball and Baseball Canada, who also have teams in Venezuela.
All of the teams met with the tournament officials in Caracas yesterday, and the consensus from those meetings was that the teams wanted to continue the event under the assurance of a sound security plan and that the remaining games would be played in the city of Maracay. As such, the teams that were in the Caracas bracket (including ours) travelled to Maracay last night (Australian time) with the intent of finishing the tournament in that area.
We wanted to take this opportunity to update you on the situation in Venezuela, and to let you know that all teams (including ours), with the exception of Hong Kong, have decided to stay in Venezuela and finish the tournament. Naturally the team has our full support and we will continue to monitor the situation very carefully.
The ABF has also been in constant communication with the families of the Australian players, of whom we thank for their patience and support throughout this process.
If there are any changes to the information provided within, we will advise immediately.