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Netherlands lead charge to Slovakia

Published: Friday 21 September 2012, 11.59CET
The Netherlands, keen to become the first country to win three UEFA European U17 Championships in a row next May, are among 52 teams in the qualifying round from Monday.
by Paul Saffer
Netherlands lead charge to Slovakia
The Netherlands and Germany met in last season's final ©Sportsfile
Published: Friday 21 September 2012, 11.59CET

Netherlands lead charge to Slovakia

The Netherlands, keen to become the first country to win three UEFA European U17 Championships in a row next May, are among 52 teams in the qualifying round from Monday.

The 2012/13 UEFA European Under-17 Championship qualifying round kicks off on Monday and ends in just over a month when the Netherlands hope to still be in the running for an unprecedented third straight title.

Of the 52 teams in qualifying, seven will eventually join hosts Slovakia in the finals from 5 to 17 May 2013. First that number will be reduced to 28 in the qualifying round as the top two in each of the 13 groups go through along with the two third-placed teams with the best records against the leading pair in their pool.

Bosnia and Herzegovina stage the first of the mini-tournaments from 24 September, welcoming Greece, last season's finals hosts Slovenia and France, who are aiming for a sixth straight qualification. The Netherlands – who beat Germany for the second final in a row in Slovenia in May – make the short trip to Belgium for Group 3 from 23 October, with two other neighbours Lithuania and Latvia also involved.

In the last pool to start, Group 13 from 30 October to 4 November, last season's semi-finalists Georgia receive Scotland, Luxembourg and Ukraine, all of whom played in the 2011/12 elite round. The 28 sides that make the second stage this time around will enter the elite round draw at 11.00CET on Wednesday 5 December in Nyon and compete in seven groups the following spring from which the winners will progress to Slovakia.

The final tournament will also act as a qualifier for the FIFA U-17 World Cup, running from 17 October to 8 November 2013 in the United Arab Emirates.

Qualifying round
Group 1 (25-30 September):
Belarus, Serbia*, Moldova, Armenia

Group 2 (3-8 October): Finland*, Germany, Andorra, San Marino

Group 3 (23-28 October): Belgium*, Netherlands (holders), Lithuania, Latvia

Group 4 (19-24 October): Spain, Poland, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria*

Group 5 (24-29 September): Greece, France, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina*

Group 6 (10-15 October): Austria*, Switzerland, Cyprus, Faroe Islands

Group 7 (21-26 October): England, Northern Ireland, Estonia*, Wales

Group 8 (18-23 October): Italy, Hungary*, Albania, Liechtenstein

Group 9 (29 September-4 October): Norway, Portugal, Malta*, Iceland

Group 10 (29 September-4 October): Republic of Ireland, Romania, Sweden, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*

Group 11 (25-30 September): Denmark, Czech Republic*, Montenegro, Russia

Group 12 (14-19 October): Turkey, Croatia*, Kazakhstan, Israel

Group 13 (30 October-4 November): Scotland, Georgia*, Luxembourg, Ukraine

*Hosts

Last updated: 31/01/14 10.20CET

http://www.uefa.com/under17/news/newsid=1842241.html#netherlands+lead+charge+slovakia

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