softball should be part of Tokyo Games: ANOC chief
Send a link to a friend
[February 05, 2014]
By Karolos Grohmann
SOCHI, Russia (Reuters) — Baseball and
softball should be part of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics despite failing to
make the cut last year, the head of the powerful Association of National
Olympic Committees (ANOC) said on Wednesday.
The two sports, as well as squash, lost out to wrestling in
September for a spot on the Tokyo Games program but Sheikh Ahmad
Al-Fahad Al-Sabah, who heads the ANOC, said their popularity in
Japan would be beneficial to the Games.
"For baseball and softball, speaking as ANOC president, it will mean
a lot (to be part of the Tokyo Games)," he told a small group of
"It will be added value for the sports, added value for the
spectators and added value for the Games," said the influential
International Olympic Committee member, credited with helping get
Thomas Bach elected to the IOC presidency in September.
Bach has said he wanted to get rid of the seven-year rule for a
sport's inclusion in the Games in order to refresh the program and
tap into potential new viewers and sponsors.
[to top of second column]
He also wants to increase the number of sports to more than the
current 28 by cutting disciplines and events of other sports to keep
the total athletes figure at 10,500.
The IOC has said a decision on a change of rules for sports will be
taken in December.
(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; editing by Peter Rutherford)
[© 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2014 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.