World baseball head not worried about Fukushima health risks

TOKYO (AP) Staging games in Fukushima for the 2020 Olympics will not present any health risk to players, the president of the World Baseball Softball Confederation said Friday.

Tokyo Olympic organizers are planning to hold part of the baseball and softball competition in the region devastated by the 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster.

The WBSC held an under-15 baseball tournament in Fukushima this year. Cuba beat Japan to defend its title.

''From the data I have received, the situation is not dangerous in Fukushima,'' WBSC president Riccardo Fraccari said. ''The situation is fine now so I don't think we will have any problems three years on.''

Holding Olympic events in the disaster-affected areas could send a powerful message of reconstruction.

Fraccari is scheduled to visit Fukushima on Saturday for an inspection tour of several proposed stadiums.

''We just staged the under-15 tournament in Fukushima and I know how passionate the people there are about baseball,'' Fraccari said. ''The main issues for me are the facilities and the schedule.''

The IOC is expected make a final decision on the location in Fukushima Prefecture at its Dec. 6-8 executive board meeting.

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