Spain, who have won the last two UEFA European Women's Under-17 Championship finals, will begin their 2011/12 campaign against Ukraine, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Azerbaijan after the first qualifying round draw was made late last year.
In all 40 teams were split into ten one-venue mini-tournaments to be played in autumn 2011. The group winners and the four runners-up with the best record against the sides first and third in their pool will join top seeds Germany and the Netherlands in the second qualifying round in spring 2012. The four group winners in that round will progress to the finals at the Colovray Stadium in UEFA's Swiss home town of Nyon from 26 to 29 June.
First qualifying round draw (hosts in bold)
Group 1: Switzerland, Poland, Georgia, Latvia
Group 2: Republic of Ireland, Italy, Romania, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
Group 3: Sweden, Hungary, Croatia, Bulgaria
Group 4: Norway, Russia, Slovenia, Lithuania
Group 5: France, Wales, Faroe Islands, Moldova
Group 6: England, Finland, Israel, Northern Ireland
Group 7: Denmark, Turkey, Greece, Serbia
Group 8: Czech Republic, Belgium, Belarus, Estonia
Group 9: Spain, Ukraine, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Azerbaijan
Group 10: Scotland, Iceland, Kazakhstan, Austria
Byes to second qualifying round: Germany, Netherlands
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The UEFA European Women's Under-17 Championship consists of three distinct stages: two qualifying rounds and an eight-team final tournament.
The competition begins with one-venue four-team mini-tournaments, although the nations with the highest UEFA coefficient may be given byes to the elite round. The winners and runners-up of the groups go through along with the required number of third-placed teams with the best record against the first and second-placed teams, to ensure there are 24 sides in the next phase.
The 24 teams are drawn into six groups of four teams. The groups are played as one-venue mini-tournaments with the winners and the runners-up with the best record against the teams first and third in their section progressing to the finals to join the hosts.
The eight teams are split into two groups of four. The top two in each group go through to the knockout phase, beginning in the semi-finals.
Further details, including the criteria for separating teams that finish level on points in a group, or after 80 minutes in a knockout match, can be found in the official competition regulations.