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Road to WU19 EURO in Northern Ireland begins

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.

Who will lift the trophy next August?
Who will lift the trophy next August? ©Sportsfile

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.

2016 final highlights: France 2-1 Spain

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 September25 October
Elite round draw: 11 November, Nyon
Elite round: 311 April or 513 June (tbc)
Final tourmament draw: tbc, Northern Ireland
Final tournament: 820 August, Northern Ireland
FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup: 726 August 2018, France

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