A league-style qualifying format will be introduced from 2021/22.
The UEFA Executive Committee has approved a new competition format for the UEFA European Women's Under-19 and Under-17 Championships to allow for further development of elite youth players as part of UEFA’s continuous commitment to women’s football.
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.
This new format will be implemented as of season 2021/22. That year, the Czech Republic will host the WU19 finals while the WU17 finals will be in Bosnia and Herzegovina.