Forty-four teams hit road to Iceland

Germany will begin the defence of their UEFA European Women's Under-19 Championship crown when 2006/07 qualifying kicks off on Tuesday.

Germany will start their defence of the UEFA European Women's Under-19 Championship when the 2006/07 edition begins on Tuesday.

Germany face neighbours
Nine of the eleven first qualifying round groups get under way that day, with all 44 contenders for a place alongside Iceland next summer taking part in the opening stage. Germany will face mini-tournament hosts F.Y.R. Macedonia, Austria and Georgia in Group 4, while 2006 runners-up France play fellow summer qualifiers Sweden plus the Faroe Islands and Kazakhstan. Turkey are back in the competition after two seasons' absence and will stage a group involving the last pair of finals hosts, Hungary and Switzerland. There is now an extra rest day between the second and third matches in all qualifying groups.

New format
The top two from each section will progress to the second qualifying round along with the two third-placed teams with the best records against the winners and runners-up in their pools. Those 24 sides will be drawn into six groups of four ahead of next April's second qualifying round, with only the section winners and best runners-up entering the final tournament - which will also act as a qualifying round for the 2008 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup - to be played in Iceland between 18-29 July.

UEFA European Women's U19 Championship
First qualifying round
Group 1 (26 September-1 October)
Sweden* (indicates group hosts)
France
Faroe Islands
Kazakhstan

Group 2 (26 September-1 October)
Poland*
Spain
Armenia
Latvia

Group 3 (26 September-1 October)
England
Belgium
Estonia*
Greece

Group 4 (26 September-1 October)
Germany
Austria
F.Y.R. Macedonia*
Georgia

Group 5 (26 September-1 October)
Norway
Netherlands
Lithuania*
Croatia

Group 6 (26 September-1 October)
Switzerland
Portugal
Turkey*
Hungary

Group 7 (26 September-1 October)
Ukraine
Wales
Moldova*
Romania

Group 8 (3-8 October)
Serbia
Denmark
Azerbaijan*
Northern Ireland

Group 9 (13-18 October)
Scotland
Russia
Slovenia*
Israel

Group 10 (26 September-1 October)
Republic of Ireland
Italy
Slovakia*
Bulgaria

Group 11 (26 September-1 October)
Czech Republic
Finland
Bosnia-Herzegovina*
Belarus

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