Road to Croatia starts with first U17 qualifiers

The 16-team 2016/17 finals in Croatia will begin with the qualifying round in September and decide Europe's five places at the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup in India.

Portugal start their trophy defence on home soil
Portugal start their trophy defence on home soil ©Sportsfile

The UEFA European Under-17 Championship qualifying round starts on Friday with 52 of the 54 entrants beginning their bids to reach May's final tournament in Croatia – and the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup in India.

Road to Croatia

  • The 52 qualifying round teams compete in 13 four-team mini-tournaments, with holders Portugal hosting the first group from Friday including Scotland, Wales and Malta.
  • The last group ends on 6 November in Israel. 
  • The top two in each group along with the five third-placed teams with the best record against the leading pair in their section join top seeds Germany in the elite round draw on 13 December.
  • The elite round is played in spring 2017 with the eight group winners and seven runners-up with the best record against the sides first and third in their section joining hosts Croatia in the finals.
  • The finals run from 3 to 19 May, beginning with four groups of four from which the top two progress to the quarter-finals.
  • The four semi-finalists and the winner of a play-off between the two best losing quarter-finalists will be Europe's five entrants in the FIFA U-17 World Cup in India in autumn 2017.
See how Portugal won the 2016 finals
See how Portugal won the 2016 finals

Qualifying round groups
Group 1 (23–28 September):
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Russia, Moldova*, Latvia

Group 2 (15–20 October): Republic of Ireland, Greece, Kazakhstan, Andorra*

Group 3 (21–26 October): Switzerland, Czech Republic, Faroe Islands, Luxembourg*

Group 4 (26–31 October): Serbia, Italy*, Albania, FYR Macedonia

Group 5 (20–25 October): Slovenia*, France, Montenegro, Estonia

Group 6 (25–30 October): England, Austria, Romania*, Azerbaijan

Group 7 (28 September–3 October): Hungary*, Netherlands, Denmark, Liechtenstein

Group 8 (28 September–3 October): Georgia, Sweden, Finland*, Bulgaria

Group 9 (19–24 September): Spain, Slovakia, San Marino, Northern Ireland*

Group 10 (16–21 September): Scotland, Portugal (holders)*, Wales, Malta

Group 11 (26–31 October): Belarus, Belgium, Gibraltar, Cyprus*

Group 12 (1–6 November): Poland, Israel*, Iceland, Armenia

Group 13 (23–28 September): Ukraine, Norway, Turkey, Lithuania*

*hosts

Bye to elite round: Germany

Bye to final tournament: Croatia (hosts)

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