Holders the Netherlands will face the Czech Republic, Israel and Northern Ireland in the UEFA European Under-17 Championship elite round, which begins on Wednesday.
The draw in December was conducted by John Delaney, chairman of the UEFA Youth and Amateur Football Committee, and Francisco Saldanha, who received the 2018 U17 EURO Fair Play prize on behalf of last season’s Portugal team, which he captained. The finals will act as UEFA’s qualifier for Europe’s five berths at the 2019 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Brazil later in the year.
Elite round draw
Group 1 (20–26 March): Italy, Austria, Romania, Turkey*
Group 2 (20–26 March): Netherlands* (holders), Czech Republic, Israel, Northern Ireland
Group 3 (21–27 March): England, Denmark*, Croatia, Switzerland
Group 4 (20–26 March): Germany*, Slovenia, Iceland, Belarus
Group 5 (25–31 March): Spain**, Ukraine, Kosovo, Greece
Group 6 (20–26 March): Portugal, Russia, Poland, Scotland*
Group 7 (26 March–1 April): Belgium, Hungary*, Norway, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Group 8 (26 March–1 April): Slovakia, France, Sweden, Serbia*
**Staged in Nyon, Switzerland
• 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 the Republic of Ireland in the finals from 3 to 19 May. The draw is in Dublin on 4 April.
- The Netherlands equalled Spain’s record of three U17 titles last term.
- The Netherlands overcame Spain 2-0 in last season’s group stage.
- Also in last season’s group stage, Belgium beat Bosnia and Herzegovina 4-0 and England lost 1-0 to Switzerland – though England still went through at their opponents’ expense.
- Kosovo are in the elite round for the first time.