Malta Football Association
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UEFA U-17 2014 FINALS IN MALTA – SETTING THE STAGE
Oct 18, 2013
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Delegations from UEFA and the international TV station, Eurosport, were in Malta two weeks ago to inspect three stadia which will host the final tournament of the 13th edition of the UEFA U17 Championship to be held in our country, the training grounds as well as to familiarise themselves with the hotels where the teams will be accommodated and see St James Cavalier, the place where the draws are scheduled to take place.


 

 

 

The delegations first visited the Gozo Stadium and were shown the preparatory work currently underway. UEFA reiterated many times that facilities for the several contingents from different countires and those for spectators are most important, while each stadium must ensure that there are security facilities for everybody.

 

After the visit to Gozo the next stop was at the Hibernians Stadium in Kordin where the guests could see the work currently being carried out. The UEFA personnel had some reservations about what they saw, this in the light that ongoing works are still at their early stages and contended that the Hibernians Stadium will be a very important venue.

 

The visit of the delegations came to a close when they went to the National Stadium at Ta’Qali where they could see the modernised structures and surroundings which hopefully would guarantee that this venue could host international football matches in the future.

 

The Eurosport delegation could observe the various vantage and other points where their TV personnel could work and relay matches live.

 

As far as the competition is concerned, the first phase with 13 groups of four teams each is currently underway. So far Austria, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Greece, Iceland, Norway, Portugal, Russia, Scotland, Serbia, Spain, Switzerland and Wales have qualified for the next phase from their respective groups.

 

The remaining seven qualifying groups will be decided by the 29th October after which the 26 qualifying teams from the initial phase  will be joined by Germany (auto qualifiers to the Elite Round as top seed) and the best third-placed team in the 1st qualifying round. The draws for the next qualifying phase will be made at the end of November.

 

The Elite Qualifying Round consisting of seven groups of four teams each will be played in early Spring, with the winners of each group participating alongside host country, Malta, in the finals to be held in May 2014.

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