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Technical report


Although Tbilisi hosted the UEFA Super Cup in 2015, the 2017 UEFA European Under-19 Championship was the first ever UEFA youth finals to be staged in Georgia. Tbilisi once again welcomed the teams and officials with three stadiums within the capital – the Mikheil Meskhi Stadioni, Mikheil Meskhi-2, David Petriashvili Stadium – all used as venues, with four fixtures, including the final, staged at the Tengiz Burjanadze Stadioni in Gori.

A crowd of 25,154 for Georgia's group decider with the Czech Republic posted the second-highest ever crowd for a U19 final tournament, behind the 54,689 for the opening fixture of the 2016 edition in Stuttgart, but the hosts were unable to send the majority of the spectators home happy as they followed the example of the last hosts Germany by being eliminated in the group stage.


The Gori Stadium ahead of the Portugal-England final

Germany – the only former champions in the final eight – also followed them out after just three games – for a third year in a row – while Sweden, who became the 34th nation to take part in the Championship, were also ousted after the group stage. Bulgaria, who were competing for the third time after 2008 and 2014, also failed to make it across the first hurdle.

With only England, the Netherlands, Portugal and the Czech Republic left standing after the first week, this ensured there would be a new name inscribed on the prestigious trophy, and a fifth new name in five years.

The heat was a factor in the early kick-offs, at 17:30 and 17:00 local time, with cooling breaks a common feature of those games, although nature brought its own cooling to the tournament as it progressed with more comfortable temperatures for the final group games, semi-finals and final.

A 90-minute drive away from the shared tournament base on the outskirts of Tbilisi, many of the participating nations chose to make the trip to Gori in two stages, incorporating a short break midway through for a stretch of the legs, while fans flocked to the biggest sporting event to hit the small Georgian town in many years, prompting a late decision to switch the final there from Tbilisi.


The crowd at Georgia-Sweden

4,100 witnessed the showpiece, which like many of the games was screened live by Eurosport and also on Georgian television. Crowd figured were relatively high for the hosts' games, with Georgian fans enthusiastically supporting their team with sold-out stadiums in Gori and Tbilisi, although with overall capacities lower than in previous editions, matching the 162,972 from Germany a year before was always going to be impossible.

While based in Georgia, the participating nations were given the now customary presentations on match-fixing and anti-doping to further their education on both subjects as they enter into professional football.

Education was also granted to six referees and eight assistant referees, all entered on the FIFA list between 2012 and 2015, while two Georgian referees served as fourth officials.