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What you need to know about #U17EURO

Published: Tuesday 2 May 2017, 9.10CET
Who is involved? How can I follow it? Where can I watch the games? Ahead of kick-off in Croatia on Wednesday, UEFA.com answers your UEFA European Under-17 Championship questions.
by Wayne Harrison
from Zagreb
What you need to know about #U17EURO
Media interest was high during Croatia's pre-tournament press conference on Tuesday ©Sportsfile

Road to the final

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.

Qualifying round
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.

Elite round
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.

Final tournament
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.

 

Published: Tuesday 2 May 2017, 9.10CET

What you need to know about #U17EURO

Who is involved? How can I follow it? Where can I watch the games? Ahead of kick-off in Croatia on Wednesday, UEFA.com answers your UEFA European Under-17 Championship questions.

How does the tournament work?
Fifteen countries booked their places at the finals, which run from 3 to 19 May, alongside hosts Croatia by negotiating the qualifying and elite rounds.

These 16 teams will compete in four groups of four, with the top two in each section progressing to the quarter-finals. Games are 80 minutes in duration and knockout fixtures level at full time will be decided by a penalty shoot-out.

The tournament will also act as the European qualifiers for UEFA's five berths in the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup in India, from 6 to 28 October.

Where is it being held?
The 32 matches will be played at seven venues – five in and around Zagreb and two near Opatija on the Adriatic coast. The final, as well as one quarter-final and a semi-final, will take place at Stadium Varaždin.

Who has qualified?
The line-up is as follows:

©Sportsfile

The Faroe Islands make their UEFA final tournament debut

Group A: Croatia, Spain, Turkey, Italy
Group B: Scotland, France, Hungary, Faroe Islands
Group C: Germany, Republic of Ireland, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Group D: Netherlands, England, Norway, Ukraine

• England, France, Spain and the Netherlands are all going for a record third U17 title.

• Holders Portugal were eliminated in the elite round as the eighth-best runner-up.

• The Faroe Islands have qualified for the finals of a UEFA tournament for the first time.

When are the games?
Group matches: 3/4, 6/7 and 9/10 May
Quarter-finals: 12/13 May
Semi-finals and FIFA U-17 World Cup play-off: 16 May
Final: 19 May

©Sportsfile

The prize the 16 teams are playing for in Croatia

Where can I watch it?
Eurosport will show eight group matches, including all those involving Germany and France. There will also be extensive coverage of the knockout phase starting on 12 May.

How else can I follow the finals?
UEFA.com will provide in-depth coverage, including match reports, features and video highlights. Keep an eye on @UEFAcom for the latest from Croatia, get involved using #U17EURO and download the official tournament programme.

What happened last year?
An athletic and classy Portugal side reigned supreme in Azerbaijan, defeating Spain on penalties in the final. Watch the highlights below.

2016 final: Portugal prevail on penalties against Spain

Do any famous players have U17 experience?
Where do we start? Paul Pogba, Mario Götze, Eden Hazard, Cristiano Ronaldo, Memphis Depay and Wayne Rooney, to name but six, showcased their talents on the U17 stage.

More recently Felix Passlack, a UEFA Champions League goalscorer for Borussia Dortmund this season, captained Germany to the 2015 final, a year after Renato Sanches shone for Portugal in Malta.

Justin Kluivert and Matthijs de Ligt helped the Netherlands to the semi-finals in Azerbaijan 12 months ago and have since become first-team regulars for Ajax.

Watch Bayern's Renato Sanches score for Portugal at the 2014 U17 EURO in Malta

Last updated: 02/05/17 15.57CET

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