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German baseball federation hails baseball/softball return to Olympics

Europe
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Berlin (dpa) - The German Baseball and Softball Federation DBV on Thursday hailed the International Olympic Committee (IOC) decision to select baseball/softball as one of five new sports for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

"It‘s a wonderful day for our sport. Baseball/softball is among the most widely-played games in the world," DBV president Mirko Heid said in an online statement. "It simply should not be missing at a large international sports event."

He added that "this IOC decision will also provide a further boost to our game here (in Germany)." Currently there are about 25,000 active baseball and softball players in upwards of 300 clubs under the DBV umbrella.

Officials at DBV headquarters in Frankfurt contacted by dpa declined to speculate about the possible financial support that the return of baseball/softball to the Olympics would mean for Germany‘s baseball scene, which as a mainly amateur sport has to fight hard for sponsorship money in a country dominated by football.

But the officials said that with sport becoming once again an official Olympic competition, the DBV as a member of the German Olympic Sports Federation (DOSB) could expect a resumption of financial help from the federation such as was the case prior to 2008, the last year that baseball/softball was played at the Olympics.

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