The first eight-team UEFA European Women's Under-17 Championship final tournament will be played in England the end of the year and the hosts' seven rivals are decided over the next three weeks as the elite round is played.
Because the 2014 FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup in Costa Rica will be held between 15 March and 5 April, the European finals – which act as a global qualifier – are taking place from 26 November until 8 December rather than the usual summer schedule. The qualifying round was therefore completed in the summer and the elite round, usually in spring, is starting on Monday.
Until this season the Women's U17 finals were a four-team event held in Nyon, Switzerland, and two nations that met in the 2010 decider there kick off the elite round in Buftea as Spain – given a bye to this stage – face the Republic of Ireland before Group 1 hosts Romania play Iceland. Group 4 also has a final rematch from this summer as Poland attempt to repeat their success against Sweden with another team given exemption through the qualifying round, France, also involved in Northern Ireland.
That starts on 12 October, but the day before the third team given a bye to the elite round, three-time winners Germany, start a tough-looking Group 6 against Belgium, the Netherlands and Switzerland. All six groups will be completed by 20 October, with all the winners plus the runner-up with the best record against the teams first and third in their section joining England in the finals.
Group 1 (30 September-5 October): Spain, Iceland, Republic of Ireland, Romania*
Group 2 (8-13 October): Austria*, Russia, Greece, Belarus
Group 3 (15-20 October): Italy, Denmark, Czech Republic, Portugal*
Group 4 (12-17 October): France, Sweden, Poland (holders), Northern Ireland*
Group 5 (2-7 October): Norway, Hungary*, Finland, Scotland
Group 6 (11-16 October): Germany*, Belgium, Switzerland, Netherlands
Bye to final tournament: England (hosts)
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