The 2013 UEFA European Under-21 Championship comprises a qualifying group stage and play-off round to determine which seven teams join hosts Israel in the final tournament.
Qualifying group stage
Teams are split into ten groups – two of six teams and eight of five – and play each other on a home and away basis. The ten group winners and four runners-up with the best record against the teams first, third, fourth and fifth in their sections advance to the play-offs.
Play-off matches are played according to the knockout system, with each team playing each opponent home and away. The team which scores the greater aggregate of goals qualifies for the next round, with away goals, extra time and then penalties used to determine the winner in the event of a draw.
The final tournament comprises the seven play-off winners and Israel, who qualify automatically as hosts. The eight teams are split into two groups of four. Each team plays each other once in their group with the winners and runners-up advancing to the semi-finals where the winner of Group A plays the Group B runner-up and vice-versa. The winners advance to the final.
Further details, including the criteria for separating teams that finish level on points in a group, can be found in the official competition regulations.
Israel is the host for the 2013 UEFA European Under-21 Championship which runs from 5 to 18 June.
The UEFA Executive Committee selected the hosts on 27 January 2011 – Bulgaria, Czech Republic, England and Wales were also in the running – and it is Israel's first final tournament since the 2000 UEFA European U16 Championship, which was won by Portugal.
A week later the qualifying round draw was made and Ori Shilo, the CEO of the Israel Football Association (IFA), told UEFA.com: "We are so thrilled today that to stand in the hall felt like a dream for us all. There has been a lot of hard work to bring the final tournament to Israel and it was still so hard to believe when we walked into the front of the hall today for the draw and saw our names there as the hosts."
Holders Spain, Germany, England, Norway, Russia, Italy and the Netherlands will join Israel for the tournament, which will be held in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Netanya and Petah Tivka.
14 September: Play-off draw (Nyon)
12-16 October: Play-offs
28 November: Final tournament draw (Israel)
5-18 June: Final tournament (Israel)
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