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 five third-placed sides with the best record against the leading pair in their groups.
In the elite round, held in early spring, those 31 qualifiers plus the top seed – 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 Portugal are among the eight teams in Pot B after the seedings were confirmed for the UEFA European Under-17 Championship elite round draw at 11:45CET on 13 December.
• There are four seeding pots in accordance with the coefficient ranking list, with the eight countries with the highest coefficients in Pot A – including Germany, who received a bye through the qualifying round – the next eight in Pot B, and so on.
Pot A: Germany, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Scotland, Republic of Ireland, Russia* England
Pot B: Israel, Cyprus, Turkey, France, Switzerland, Italy, Portugal (holders), Bosnia and Herzegovina
Pot C: Greece, Austria, Serbia, Hungary, Slovakia, Finland, Slovenia, Belarus
Pot D: Belgium, Czech Republic, Montenegro, Poland, Armenia, Norway, Faroe Islands, Ukraine*
*Due to previous decisions by the UEFA Executive Committee and UEFA Emergency Committee, Russia cannot meet Ukraine.
• No group winners from the qualifying round can play the runners-up from the same section. There is no such protection for the best third-placed teams (Czech Republic, Montenegro, Belgium, Armenia, Ukraine)
• The Faroe Islands and Armenia feature at this stage for the first time.
• Each group will comprise one side from each pot, with the hosts then appointed to hold the mini-tournaments, which must be completed by 2 April.
• The eight group winners and the seven runners-up with the best records against the teams first and third in their section will join hosts Croatia in the finals from 3 to 19 May.
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