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.
• Malta's National Stadium lies in the central village of Ta'Qali and contains the headquarters of the Maltese Football Association (MFA).
• Built on the site of a former British Royal Air Force (RAF) base, the stadium was improved with the opening of the Millennium Stand (home to the MFA) in 2002.
• Not only is the stadium home to Malta's international games, but the majority of the country's top-flight league fixtures are played there each weekend.
• Ta'Qali itself still contains an airfield and has an aviation museum, as well as its Crafts Village and the National Park, which includes an ampitheatre which has staged many concerts.
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