2021 World Baseball Classic semifinals, final in Miami

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MIAMI (AP)Next year’s World Baseball Classic will be played in Taiwan, Tokyo, Phoenix and Miami, with the Marlins hosting the semifinals and final along with half of the quarterfinals.

The fifth edition of the tournament will be played from March 9-23, 2021, Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association said Tuesday.

There will be four groups of five teams: the 16 participants in the 2017 tournament plus four qualifiers to be determined during a 12-nation tournament this March 13-25 at Tucson, Arizona.

Group A will be in Taiwan at Taichung and Taoyuan from March 9-13, and Group B will be in Tokyo from March 11-15. The top two teams in both Group A and B will advance to quarterfinals at the Tokyo Dome on March 16-17.

Group C will be at Chase Field in Phoenix from March 13-17 and Group D at Marlins Park from March 14-18.

Marlins Park hosts quarterfinals on March 19-20, and the semifinals and finals from March 21-23.

The United States won the tournament for the first time in 2017 following titles by Japan in 2006 and 2009 and the Dominican Republic in 2013. The tournament has been played in the past with pitch limits and other constraints on players.

Other teams with guaranteed places in the WBC are Australia, Canada, China, Colombia, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Israel, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Mexico, Puerto Rico, South Korea, Taiwan and Venezuela.

The qualifying tournament includes Brazil, Britain, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Panama, Philippines, South Africa and Spain.

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