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.
Liechtenstein has been selected as the venue for the 2010 UEFA European Under-17 Championship at today's UEFA Executive Committee meeting in the principality's capital, Vaduz.
It will not the first time one of UEFA's smaller member nations has staged a youth final tournament – the 2003 U19 Championship was held successfully in Liechtenstein, and won by Italy. The next U17 finals, from 4-16 May this year, will be in Antalya, Turkey and in the 2009 competition will conclude in Germany.
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