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.
• Azerbaijan will host the 2016 UEFA European Under-17 Championship finals
Qualifying round: 22 September–31 October 2015
• The top two in each qualifying round group along with the five third-placed teams with the best records against the leading pair will join Germany in the elite round in spring 2016. That will eventually decide the 15 sides to join hosts Azerbaijan in the finals that May.
Group 1 (22–27 October): Switzerland, Netherlands, Albania, Wales*
Group 2 (30 September–5 October): Belarus*, Russia, Montenegro, Cyprus
Group 3 (24–29 September): Sweden, Republic of Ireland, Malta, Finland*
Group 4 (24–29 October): Hungary*, Georgia, Romania, Slovakia
Group 5 (24–29 October): Serbia, Austria, Luxembourg*, Lithuania
Group 6 (25–30 October): Poland, Spain, Latvia*, Andorra
Group 7 (26–31 October): Croatia, Czech Republic, Gibraltar, Liechtenstein*
Group 8 (22–27 September): Denmark, Iceland*, Greece, Kazakhstan
Group 9 (29 September–4 October): England, Portugal*, San Marino, Armenia
Group 10 (24–29 September): Turkey, Belgium, Faroe Islands, Slovenia*
Group 11 (20–25 October): Norway, France, Israel*, Northern Ireland
Group 12 (21–26 October): Italy, Scotland, Bulgaria*, FYR Macedonia
Group 13 (26–31 October): Ukraine, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Moldova*, Estonia
Bye to elite round: Germany
Bye to finals: Azerbaijan (hosts)
Provisional season calendar
Elite round draw: late 2015
Elite round: spring 2016
Final tournament draw: tbc
Final tournament: May 2016
©UEFA.com 1998-2016. All rights reserved.