Germany and Panama will mount World Classic qualifiers

Germany and Panama will host the qualifiers that will define the last four participating countries in the 2023 World Baseball Classic, a source told ESPN.

The pre-classics will be played in Regensburg, southeast Germany, and Panama City, the capital of Panama, between the last week of September and the first week of October this year. The first two places in each of those tournaments will obtain a ticket to the fifth edition of the World Classic, the first to have 20 participating nations.

They will join the 16 countries that participated in the 2017 championship and received automatic invites: Australia, Canada, China, Colombia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Taiwan, Israel, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Netherlands, Mexico, Puerto Rico , United States and Venezuela.

Germany, Brazil, France, Nicaragua, Pakistan, South Africa, the Philippines, Great Britain, New Zealand, Panama and the Czech Republic are the nations that will play in the qualifiers. Of that group, South Africa (2006 and 2009), Panama (2006 and 2009), Brazil (2013) and Spain (2013) have previous experience in the World Classic.

The World Baseball Classic, the only nations event featuring American Major League Baseball players, was scheduled to take place March 9-23, 2021, in three countries; United States, Japan and Taiwan, but the coronavirus pandemic forced the organizers to postpone it.

The event is organized by World Baseball Classic Inc. — entity made up of the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC), Major League Baseball (MLB) and the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA)- – in conjunction with the professional leagues of Japan (NPB) and South Korea (KBO).

When MLB and the MLBPA agreed on a new collective bargaining agreement last March, they decided to reschedule the World Classic for March 2023.

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Germany and Panama will mount World Classic qualifiers