The UEFA European Under-17 Championship consists of three distinct stages: the qualifying round, the elite round and the final tournament. The format changed for 2014/15 with the expansion of the final tournament from eight to 16 teams.
The qualifying round, played in autumn, is made up of 13 groups of four countries playing in one-venue mini-tournaments. The top two from each pool progress alongside the four third-placed sides with the best record against the leading pair in their groups.
In the elite round, held in early spring, those 30 qualifiers plus the top two seeds – given a bye this far – compete in eight mini-tournament groups of four. The group winners and seven runners-up with the best record against the teams first and third in their section advance to the finals to join the hosts.
In the final tournament the contenders are split into four groups of four, with the front two from each proceeding to the knockout phase.
Further details, including the criteria for separating sides that finish level on points in a group, or after 80 minutes in a match, can be found in the official competition regulations.
Holders France have been drawn with Austria, Greece and Iceland in this spring's UEFA European Under-17 Championship elite round.
The draw was made by UEFA Youth & Amateur Committee chairman Sándor Csányi and Kino Delorge, who received the 2014/15 Respect Fair Play Trophy on behalf of Belgium. Among the ties produced was Germany against the Netherlands, the two nations having met in three finals between 2009 and 2012. Fifteen teams will advance to the final tournament in Azerbaijan in May.
Group 1 (28 March-2 April): Czech Republic*, Denmark, Switzerland, Scotland
Group 2 (24-29 March): England*, Ukraine, Turkey, Finland
Group 3 (15-20 March): Russia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Italy, Georgia*
Group 4 (24-29 March): Germany*, Netherlands, Slovakia, Bulgaria
Group 5 (16-21 March): Portugal, Croatia*, Sweden, Wales
Group 6 (29 March-3 April): France* (holders), Austria, Greece, Iceland
Group 7 (28 March-2 April): Republic of Ireland, Poland*, Serbia, Montenegro
Group 8 (11-16 March): Spain, Belgium*, Israel, Slovenia
• The eight group winners and the seven runners-up with the best records against the teams first and third in their section will join hosts Azerbaijan in the finals from 5 to 21 May.
• Hosts Azerbaijan will be the 37th different nation to play at the U17 finals since the classification began in 2001/12; Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Wales could also earn debuts.
• France beat Greece 1-0 in their last group game to reach the 2015 quarter-finals on their way to the title.
• The five teams that went through from third place in their qualifying round groups were able to play sides from their sections in that stage: Iceland drew 1-1 with Greece in their group and Slovenia were beaten 2-1 by Belgium.
• Spain, with David De Gea in goal, but Eden Hazard's Belgium 1-0 in the 2007 semi-finals.
• Germany, who were seeded to this round, beat the Netherlands 2-1 in the 2009 final but the Dutch got revenge in the deciders in 2011 and 2012.
• Russia defeated Italy on penalties in the 2013 final.
©UEFA.com 1998-2017. All rights reserved.