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Croatia the host nation

EURO U-17 title race
to begin

EURO U-17 title race to begin
photo by: HNS
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Wednesday, 3 May, marks the beginning of the greatest Croatian Football Federation organizational challenge since independece - the UEFA U-17 European Championship.

In January 2015, Croatia was selected as the host nation of the 16th European Championship U-17. The best European youngsters will compete at seven venues: the Croatia - Italy opening match taking place in Rijeka, the final (19 May) is scheduled in Varaždin, and Kostrena, Sesvete, Lučko, Velika Gorica, and Zaprešić also hosting the matches.

16 teams have qualified for the final tournament, and two best teams from each group will progress to the quarterfinals. Two best losing quarterfinalists will enter the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup play-off, to join four semifinalists this October in India.


Player born on 1 January 2000 and younger are eligible, and Faroe Islands and Norway are making their debut.

The titleholders Portugal have failed to progress from the Elite Round, while Spain, Netherlands, France, and England chase their record third U-17 European title. Croatia has appeared on three previous occasions and won the 4th place in 2005.

This May, Croatia awaits the "group of death" challenge with Italy, Turkey, and Spain, but head coach Dario Bašić explains there is no reason for fear. His players, he says, will present their quality against the best opposition:

"The players and the coaching staff are in good spirits. We are happy to have chance to open the European Championships on home soil, against a quality opponent. These players are not only good footballers, but also have a strong character. They are learning to deal with pressure, and regardless of the outcome, they will remain the future of Croatian football".

Group A: Croatia, Italy, Turkey, Spain
Group B: Scotland, France, Hungary, Faroe Islands
Group C: Germany, Republic of Ireland, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Group D: Netherlands, England, Norway, Ukraine

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