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 Spain will face Serbia, Ukraine and the Czech Republic in this spring's UEFA European Under-17 Championship elite round.
The draw was made by last season's Italy captain Davide Bettella, who received the 2016/17 Respect Fair Play trophy from UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin on behalf of his team. Fifteen teams will advance to the final tournament in England in May.
Elite round draw
Group 1 (21–27 March): Serbia, Spain (holders), Ukraine, Czech Republic*
Group 2 (9–15 March): Belgium, Croatia*, Sweden, Cyprus
Group 3 (21–27 March): Republic of Ireland, Poland*, Georgia, FYR Macedonia
Group 4 (12–18 March): Portugal*, Finland, Switzerland, Slovakia
Group 5 (7–13 March): Italy, Iceland, Netherlands*, Turkey
Group 6 (21–27 March): France, Austria*, Denmark, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Group 7 (22–28 March): Israel, Hungary*, Slovenia, Romania
Group 8 (21–27 March): Germany, Scotland, Greece*, Norway
• 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 England in the finals from 4 to 20 May.
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