July 22, 2011 / 10:11 AM / 8 years ago

Champions Japan threaten WBC boycott over revenue

Team Japan's Ichiro Suzuki (L) hits a two RBI double in front of Team Korea catcher Park Kyung-Oan (R) during the tenth inning of play in the World Baseball Classic championship game in Los Angeles, California March 23, 2009. REUTERS/Fred Greaves

TOKYO (Reuters) - Champions Japan may boycott the next World Baseball Classic (WBC) if they are not paid a greater share of the tournament revenue, the players’ union said on Friday.

The union planned to negotiate with Major League Baseball (MLB) next month for the planned 2013 WBC following a decision which drew overwhelming support from members, local media reported.

“We are not saying we don’t want to take part,” union president Takahiro Arai said. “But we will not be able compete under the current conditions, which are unfair.”

Japan won the first two editions of the WBC in 2006 and 2009. However, the Japanese players received only 13 percent of total revenue from the last tournament, compared to the 66 percent the MLB and its players took.

The owners of Japan’s 12 professional teams decided last week they too would seek an improved deal with the MLB.

Reporting by Alastair Himmer; Editing by John O'Brien

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