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.
The 2017/18 UEFA European Under-17 Championship qualifying round draw will be made at 09:00CET on 13 December in Nyon and will involve 52 of the 54 nations aiming to join hosts England in the 16-team finals.
A total of 15 nations will join hosts England in the final tournament in May 2018. Top seeds Germany and Portugal have each been given a bye to the elite round while the remaining entrants, including debutants Kosovo, will be in one of four pots of 13 teams each according to their coefficient.
In all, 13 groups will be formed, each containing one teams from each of the seeding pots, with the hosts appointed after the draw and games to be played next autumn, by 19 November 2017. The top two in each group along with the four third-placed teams with the best record against the leading pair will join Germany and Portugal in the elite round in spring 2018.
In that round, the eight group winners and seven runners-up with the best record against the teams first and third in their pool will join England in that May's finals.
Pot B: Croatia, Greece, Ukraine*, Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark, Slovenia, Turkey, Iceland, Romania, Wales, Georgia, Slovakia
Pot C: Israel, Bulgaria, Norway, Belarus, Latvia, Estonia, Cyprus, Hungary, Northern Ireland, Finland, Albania, Lithuania, Moldova
Pot D: FYR Macedonia, Montenegro, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Luxembourg, Faroe Islands, Liechtenstein, San Marino, Gibraltar*, Andorra, Malta, Kazakhstan, Kosovo*
*Based on previous decisions of the UEFA Executive Committee and UEFA Emergency Panel, these teams cannot be drawn together: Russia and Ukraine, Spain and Gibraltar, Serbia and Kosovo, and Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo.
Bye to elite round: Germany, Portugal
Bye to final tournament: England (hosts)
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