The 2017 UEFA European Under-21 Championship features a qualifying group stage and a play-off round to determine which 11 teams join hosts Poland in the final tournament.
Qualifying group stage
Teams are split into nine groups – seven of six sides and two of five – and play each other on a home-and-away basis. The nine group winners qualify automatically. The four runners-up with the best record against the nations first, third, fourth and fifth in their sections advance to the play-offs.
The two play-off ties are contested according to the knockout system. The team that scores the greater aggregate of goals proceeds to the next round, with away goals, extra time and then penalties used to determine the winner in the event of a draw.
The final tournament involves the nine group winners, the two play-off victors and Poland, who qualify automatically as hosts. The 12 sides are divided into three groups of four. Teams play each other once in their section, with the three pool winners and the best runner-up qualifying for the semi-finals.
Further details, including the criteria for separating sides that finish level on points in a group, can be found in the official competition regulations.
Poland will hold the 2017 UEFA European Under-21 Championship from 16 to 30 June after they were selected as final tournament hosts by the UEFA Executive Committee at its meeting in Nyon on 26 January 2015.
The 2017 final tournament will contain an expanded field of 12 teams, up from the eight that have competed at every edition since 2000.
The Polish Football Federation (PZPN) co-hosted UEFA EURO 2012 with Ukraine – matches were played in Gdansk, Poznan, Warsaw and Wroclaw – while in 2006 it organised the finals of the UEFA European U19 Championship.
Group 1: Czech Republic
Group 2: Italy
Group 3: FYR Macedonia
Group 4: Portugal
Group 5: Denmark
Group 6: Sweden
Group 7: Germany
Group 8: Slovakia
Group 9: England
tbc: 2 play-off winners from Austria, Norway, Serbia and Spain
Road to Poland: match dates
7–15 November 2016
Group A: 16, 19, 22 June
Group B: 17, 20, 23 June
Group C: 18, 21, 24 June
(group winners and best runners-up progress)
Semi-final 1 (Winner A v Runner-up B/C or Winner C): 27 June
Semi-final 2 (Winner B v Runner-up A/C or Winner C): 27 June
Final: 30 June
Kielce (Group A)
Lublin (Group A)
Gdynia (Group B)
Bydgoszcs (Group B)
Tychy (Group C, semi-final)
Krakow (Group C, semi-final, final)
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