The UEFA European Women's Under-19 Championship kicks off in Slovenia on Thursday with 44 of the 48 entrants starting their bids to reach Northern Ireland over the next two months.
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The UEFA European Women's Under-19 Championship season kicks off in Slovenia on Thursday with 44 of the 48 entrants involved in 11 groups.
• The first of the 11 qualifying round mini-tournaments to get under way will be Group 5 in Slovenia, also involving Russia, Greece and Israel.
• Next week Armenia return to the fray in Group 1 having last entered the competition in 2011/12.
• All the games take place in the two international windows either over the next fortnight or the week starting 18 October.
• The qualifying round runs until 25 October when the last groups end in Belarus and Denmark.
• The group winners plus the ten runners-up with the best records against the teams first and third in their section advance to the elite round to join the three top seeds given byes: holders France, England and Germany.
• The elite round in spring will produce seven teams to qualify for the finals to join hosts Northern Ireland in August.
• The tournament will also act as a qualifier for the 2018 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup, for which hosts France are already assured of a berth.
Qualifying round groups
Group 1 (15–20 September): Norway, Romania, Poland*, Armenia
Group 2 (18–23 October): Republic of Ireland, Italy, Wales, FYR Macedonia*
Group 3 (20–25 October): Belgium, Austria, Belarus*, Lithuania
Group 4 (14–19 September): Scotland, Serbia, Cyprus, Albania*
Group 5 (8–13 September): Russia, Slovenia*, Greece, Israel
Group 6 (15–20 September): Finland*, Iceland, Faroe Islands, Kazakhstan
Group 7 (18–23 October): Sweden, Portugal, Bosnia and Herzegovina*, Georgia
Group 8 (15–20 September): Spain, Ukraine, Azerbaijan*, Latvia
Group 9 (18–23 October): Switzerland, Czech Republic, Croatia, Estonia*
Group 10 (19–24 October): Netherlands, Turkey, Moldova, Bulgaria*
Group 11 (20–25 October): Denmark, Hungary, Slovakia, Montenegro*
Bye to elite round: France (holders), England, Germany
Bye to finals: Northern Ireland (hosts)
Road to Northern Ireland
Qualifying round: 8 September–25 October
Elite round draw: 11 November, Nyon
Elite round: 3–11 April or 5–13 June (tbc)
Final tourmament draw: tbc, Northern Ireland
Final tournament: 8–20 August, Northern Ireland
FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup: 7–26 August 2018, France