The UEFA European Under-17 Championship consists of three distinct stages: the qualifying round, the elite round and the final tournament.
The qualifying round, played in autumn, is made up of 13 groups of four teams playing in one-venue mini-tournaments. The top two from each progress alongside the two third-placed teams with the best record against the top pair in their group.
In the elite round, played in early spring, those 28 qualifiers compete in seven mini-tournament groups of four. The group winners progress to the finals.
At the final tournament the contenders are split into two groups of four, with the top two progressing to the semi-finals, with the showpiece to follow.
Further details, including the criteria for separating teams that finish level on points in a group, or after extra time in a match, can be found in the
official competition regulations.
The successor to the UEFA European Under-16 Championship, the U17 event has been running annually since 2001/02. It consists of a qualifying round, an elite round and an eight-team final tournament usually held in May.
The autumn qualifying round is made up of groups of four teams playing round-robin fixtures at one venue. The top two progress alongside – depending on the number of entries – a specified number of third-placed teams with the best record against the top pair in their section and top-ranked sides given byes. In the elite round, played in the spring, the qualifiers compete in mini-tournament groups of four, with the winners joining the hosts in the finals.
The final tournament consists of two groups of four, with the top two from each progressing to the semi-finals where it becomes a knockout competition. In finals held in odd-numbered years the championship also serves as qualification for the biennial FIFA U-17 World Cup.
The regulations for the UEFA European Under-17 Championship are initially drawn up by the UEFA Administration before being submitted to the UEFA Youth and Amateur Football Committee. They are then forwarded upon that committee's approval to the UEFA Executive Committee for ratification.
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