The UEFA European Under-19 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 third-placed team with the best record against the top pair in their group.
In the elite round, played in the spring, those 27 qualifiers join the top seed, given a bye, in seven mini-tournament groups of four. The group winners then join the hosts in the finals.
The seven qualifiers plus the hosts are split into two groups of four who play each other once, with the top two progressing to the semi-finals. The winners of those ties contest the final.
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-18 Championship, the U19 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 July.
The autumn qualifying round is made up of 13 groups of four teams playing round-robin fixtures at one venue. The top two progress alongside the third-placed team with the best record against the top pair in their section. In the elite round, played in the spring, the qualifiers and the team given a bye compete in seven 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. The championship also serves as qualification for the biennial FIFA U-20 World Cup; the 2015/16 European Championship produced teams for the 2017 World Cup in South Korea.
The regulations for the UEFA European Under-19 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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