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.
The 2018/19 UEFA European Under-17 Championship qualifying round draw will be made at 09:00CET on 6 December in Nyon and will involve 52 of the 54 nations aiming to join hosts the Republic of Ireland in the 16-team finals.
A total of 15 nations will join hosts Ireland in the final tournament in May 2019. Top seeds England and Germany have each been given a bye to the elite round while, for the draw, the remaining entrants will be divided into 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 20 November 2018. The top two in each group, along with the four third-placed teams with the best record against the leading pair, will join England and Germany in the elite round in March 2019.
After 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 Ireland in that May's finals, which will also act as Europe's qualifier for the 2019 FIFA U-17 World Cup.
Pot A: Spain*. Netherlands, Portugal, France, Scotland, Italy, Russia*, Belgium, Austria, Turkey, Serbia*, Bosnia and Herzegovina*, Czech Republic
Pot B: Poland, Croatia, Sweden, Ukraine, Greece, Switzerland, Israel, Slovenia, Slovakia, Hungary, Norway, Wales, Denmark
Pot C: Iceland, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Romania, Cyprus, Finland, Bulgaria, Latvia, Faroe Islands, Northern Ireland, Montenegro, Armenia
Pot D: Albania, FYR Macedonia, Estonia, Malta, Lithuania, Moldova, Luxembourg, Kazakhstan, Liechtenstein, San Marino, Gibraltar*, Andorra, 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: England, Germany
Bye to final tournament: Republic of Ireland (hosts)
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