U21 final tournament expanding to 12 teams

The UEFA Executive Committee has announced that the 2015 UEFA European U21 Championship will be the last eight-team finals before it becomes a 12-team tournament.

The UEFA European Under-21 Championship trophy alongside the adidas Golden Boot award and official match ball ahead of the final between Italy and Spain
The UEFA European Under-21 Championship trophy alongside the adidas Golden Boot award and official match ball ahead of the final between Italy and Spain ©Sportsfile

The UEFA European Under-21 Championship final tournament will be expanded from eight to 12 teams for the 2017 competition, following a decision announced by the UEFA Executive Committee in Nyon.

The U21 final tournament was a knockout competition until 2000, when eight qualifiers were divided into two groups of four, with the top two going onto the semi-finals. This format has been used for eight tournaments now, but after the ninth, in the Czech Republic in 2015, the final stages of the championship will be expanded to 12 sides for 2017.