Team from Uganda to Receive Visas – Will Play in Little League Baseball World Series
Little League International received confirmation today from the U.S. Department of State that the championship team from the Middle East and Africa Region will receive visas and will participate in the 2012 Little League Baseball World Series.
The Lugazi Little League from Lugazi, Uganda, won the regional title last week in Kutno, Poland, with a 5-2 victory in the title game against a team from Kuwait City, Kuwait. A year ago, a different league from another city in Uganda qualified, but was unable to make the trip because irregularities in the birth documentation caused the State Department to decline to issue visas.
Since that time, Little League International officials met with State Department officials to work on ways to ensure that local leagues in Uganda and other African countries where Little League is played would have the proper documentation before traveling to the Regional Tournament.
Lugazi Little League will be the first team from Africa to play in the Little League Baseball World Series’ 66-year history.
“The recommendations given to us by our State Department officials were very helpful in avoiding last year’s problems, and we thank them for their cooperation and assistance,” Patrick Wilson, Little League International Senior Vice President of Operations and Program Development, said. “We are pleased that next month we will welcome our first team from Africa, and we hope this event spurs even more interest worldwide in Little League Baseball and Softball.”
The Uganda team is expected to arrive in the U.S. on the weekend of Aug. 11-12.
The Little League Baseball World Series begins on Aug. 16, and ends on Aug. 26. All games are played at Little League Volunteer Stadium and Howard J. Lamade Stadium, at the Little League International Complex in South Williamsport. All games will be televised on ABC, ESPN, or ESPN2.
Little League Baseball and Softball is the world’s largest organized youth sports program, with more than 2.4 million players and 1 million adult volunteers in every U.S. state and scores of other countries.