Malta was drawn in Group B4 in Round 1 of the new UEFA Nations League-style UEFA European Women’s Under-19 Championship along with Israel, Romania and Georgia.
The new format replaces the old qualifying and elite rounds, still featuring one-venue mini-tournaments but now including two leagues with promotion and relegation leading to the 2022 finals in the Czech Republic (who will compete in the two rounds before automatically progressing to the final tournament). The competition returns after the 2019/20 and 2020/21 editions were halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Round 1 draw
Group A1: Netherlands, Scotland, Austria, Ukraine
Group A2: France (holders), Sweden, Iceland, Serbia
Group A3: Germany, Belgium, Russia, Slovenia
Group A4: Denmark, Finland, Hungary, Turkey
Group A5: Switzerland, England, Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland
Group A6: Spain, Czech Republic (finals hosts), Portugal, Slovakia
Group A7: Norway, Italy, Poland, Azerbaijan
Group B1: Belarus, Faroe Islands, North Macedonia, Cyprus
Group B2: Greece, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Kazakhstan
Group B3: Wales, Albania, Moldova, Andorra
Group B4: Israel, Romania, Georgia, Malta
Group B5: Croatia, Kosovo, Latvia, Liechtenstein
Group B6: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Estonia, Armenia
Group dates: matches between 14 and 21 September or 19 and 26 October.
Round 1 will decide which teams are promoted and relegated ahead of Round 2 in spring 2022.
Promotion: From League B to A: the six group winners plus best runner-up.
Relegation: From League A to B: the seven teams ranked fourth in their groups.
The Round 2 draw will be held in late 2021, with the seven League A group winners in the spring joining the Czech Republic in the finals from 27 June to 9 July 2022. There will also be promotion and relegation between Leagues A and B ahead of 2022/23 Round 1. Seedings for the Round 2 draw will be determined by the positions in which each team finishes in Round 1.
The format is based on a league-style qualifying format according to these key principles:
• For the first season, competition entries will be divided, using coefficient rankings, into two leagues (A and B)
• In each league, groups of 4 teams will play mini-tournaments
• The winners of each mini-tournament in league B will be promoted and the last-placed teams in league A mini-tournaments will be relegated.
• League A Round 2 will replace the current elite round with the winners (and best runner-up) qualifying for the final tournament.
• After Round 2, the winners of mini-tournaments in league B will be promoted and the last-placed teams in league A will be relegated for Round 1 of the next edition of the tournament.
Final tournament hosts
• Final tournament hosts will be drawn into a league according to their coefficient and play as any other team throughout the competition. Their place in the final tournament will nevertheless be guaranteed, irrespective of their results.
The new format will ensure more competitive balance because all teams will play against similarly ranked teams while still giving the opportunity to every team to qualify for every final tournament.
It also guarantees a minimum of either five or six competitive matches per season – taking place in the already existing competition windows.
Moreover, final hosts will be included in the qualifying rounds, providing competitive matches before the final tournament.