Washington, Jun 2. -The World Baseball Classic 2013 (WBC) will involve 28 teams in all its phases, informed the Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig.
According to the head of the organizing committee, there will be a new preliminary round of 16 teams, with the entry of Brazil, Colombia, Nicaragua, Spain, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Britain, Israel, New Zealand, the Philippines and Thailand.
In this first stage, scheduled for late 2012, the four teams that did not win a single match in the 2009 edition of the tournament will participate: Panama, Canada, Chinese Taipei and South Africa.
Then, four of the teams that win that first stage will join the 12 with a secure place in the main round of March 2013: Japan, Cuba, Venezuela, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Mexico, United States, South Korea, Netherlands, China, Australia and Italy.
The main objective of the Classic is to increase the practice of this sport throughout the world by expanding the number of teams in the tournament in 2013, which demonstrates our commitment to this goal, Selig said in a statement.
The organization created by Major League Baseball to run the WBC explained that the preliminary stage groups will be chosen by geographic location, once the venue for the game is decided. (Prensa Latina)