Not since 2000 when it staged the UEFA European Under-21 Championship has Slovakia provided the backdrop for a continental final tournament.
However, Sunday's UEFA European U17 Championship group-stage opener between the host nation and neighbours Austria in Dubnica nad Vahom and the simultaneous Group B encounter featuring Russia and Ukraine in Zlate Moravce will mark the welcome return of international competition to the country.
The other Group A duo, Switzerland and Sweden, kick off their campaign later in the day in the picturesque setting of mountainous Zilina, which will also hold the competition's final on 17 May, while Group B pairing Croatia and Italy face off in Nitra. The top two in each section progress to the knockouts, and will be joined by the third-placed teams from each pool at the FIFA U-17 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates.
Nine games, including the semi-finals on 14 May and the final on 17 May, will be broadcast live on Eurosport or Eurosport 2 (see schedule below). UEFA.com profiles all eight finalists and will have full coverage of the finals in text and video – including previews, interviews, a live MatchCentre, reports and reaction plus exclusive photos.
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