The UEFA European Under-17 Championship consists of three distinct stages: the qualifying round, the elite round and the final tournament. The format changed for 2014/15 with the expansion of the final tournament from eight to 16 teams.
The qualifying round, played in autumn, is made up of 13 groups of four countries playing in one-venue mini-tournaments. The top two from each pool progress alongside the four third-placed sides with the best record against the leading pair in their groups.
In the elite round, held in early spring, those 30 qualifiers plus the top two seeds – given a bye this far – compete in eight mini-tournament groups of four. The group winners and seven runners-up with the best record against the teams first and third in their section advance to the finals to join the hosts.
In the final tournament the contenders are split into four groups of four, with the front two from each proceeding to the knockout phase.
Further details, including the criteria for separating sides that finish level on points in a group, or after 80 minutes in a match, can be found in the official competition regulations.
Holders France are among 31 teams to have progressed from the UEFA European Under-17 Championship qualifying round to join top seeds Germany in the elite round draw at 11.45CET on 3 December.
Thirteen groups have been played since 22 September, with France among the teams progressing in the top two of each section. Joining them are the five third-placed nations with the best record against the leading pair in their group: Wales, Slovenia, Finland, Iceland and Scotland.
Bye as top seeds: Germany
Group 1: Netherlands, Switzerland, Wales*
Group 2: Russia, Montenegro
Group 3: Republic of Ireland, Sweden, Finland*
Group 4: Slovakia, Georgia
Group 5: Austria, Serbia
Group 6: Spain, Poland
Group 7: Czech Republic, Croatia
Group 8: Denmark, Greece, Iceland*
Group 9: England, Portugal
Group 10: Belgium, Turkey, Slovenia*
Group 11: France (holders), Israel
Group 12: Italy, Bulgaria, Scotland*
Group 13: Ukraine, Bosnia and Herzegovina
*Five best third-placed teams
Qualifying round facts
• Portugal's João Filipe top-scored with five goals.
• Russia, Spain and France all progressed with a perfect nine points.
• Russia and France did not concede a goal.
• The Czech Republic were top scorers on 15 goals.
• In Group 4, the top two was set to be Romania and Hungary as the last games entered added time, but Slovakia equalised against Romania and Georgia levelled versus Hungary to snatch the qualifying places and eliminate their opponents.
Road to Azerbaijan
• The 32 elite round hopefuls will be split into four seeding pots of eight teams for the draw on 3 December.
• Eight groups will be formed by the draw to be played by the end of March.
• The eight group winners and the seven runners-up with the best record against teams first and third in their section will join hosts Azerbaijan in the finals from 5–21 May.
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