The leagues for round 1 of the new UEFA Nations League-style UEFA European Under-19 Championship have been drawn, with the groups to be played in autumn 2020.
A new two-year format replaces the current one-season qualifying system, with four rounds of one-venue mini-tournaments including promotion and relegation leading to the 2022 finals in Slovakia (who will compete in the first two rounds before progressing to the final tournament).
In round 1, the 54 entrants have been split into Leagues A (20 teams), B (16 teams) and C (18 teams), based on the Under-19 coefficient rankings based on performances in the competition from 2015/16–2018/19. All teams were then drawn into groups of four within their leagues except in League C, which has three groups of four and two of three.
Malta was drawn in League C Group 4 with Albania and Moldova. Albania will be hosting the mini-tournament between September 18 and 24, 2020.
The draw was made by Arsen Yeghiazaryan, captain of last season’s Armenia team, who received the Respect Fair Play trophy on behalf of the squad from UEFA General Secretary Theodore Theodoridis.
ROUND 1 DRAW
Group A1: Republic of Ireland, Netherlands, Croatia, Turkey
Group A2: Ukraine, Germany, Sweden, Belgium
Group A3: Portugal, Czech Republic, Greece, Poland
Group A4: Italy, England, Serbia, Austria
Group A5: Spain, France, Norway, Slovakia
Group B1: Bulgaria, Georgia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Wales
Group B2: Denmark, Scotland, Russia, Latvia
Group B3: Hungary, Romania, Cyprus, Iceland
Group B4: Israel, Slovenia, Finland, Switzerland
Group C1: Kosovo, Armenia, Luxembourg, Estonia
Group C2: Belarus, Northern Ireland, Gibraltar, San Marino
Group C3: Azerbaijan, Montenegro, Faroe Islands, Andorra
Group C4: Malta, Albania, Moldova
Group C5: North Macedonia, Kazakhstan, Lithuania
After round 1 and at the end of round 2, four group winners plus the best runner-up will be promoted from League B to League A and the group winners plus runners-up depending on the number of entries will be promoted from League C to League B.
Five teams ranked fourth in their groups in League A will be relegated to League B while the five teams ranked fourth in their groups in League B plus the lowest ranked third-placed teams will be relegated to League C.
Teams in League C after round 2 play no further part, while finals hosts also play no further part until the final tournament.
If the finals hosts are in Leagues A or B after round 2, an additional team will be promoted from Leagues B or C respectively to take their place.
In Round 3 (Leagues A & B), four group winners plus the best runner-up will be promoted from League B to League A while the five teams ranked fourth in their groups in League A will be relegated to League B. Teams in League B after round 3 play no further part.
Round 4 is reserved for League A only. The five group winners and two best runners-up join the hosts in the final tournament.
For the final tournament, the teams are drawn into two groups of four with the top two from each progressing to the semi-finals. Under-19 EURO final tournaments in even-numbered years act as qualifiers for the following year’s FIFA U-20 World Cup (i.e. the 2022 U19 EURO leads to the 2023 U-20 World Cup).
Mini-tournament dates: 2020-2022 competition
Round 1: By 17 November 2020 – drawn on 3 December 2019
Round 2: By 8 June 2021 – draw in December 2020
Round 3: 30 August-7 September or 4-12 October or 8-16 October 2021 –drawn in June/July 2021
Round 4: 21-29 March 2022 – drawn in December 2021
Final tournament (Slovakia): July 2022 – drawn after round 4 complete