The UEFA European Women's Under-19 Championship returned to Switzerland 12 years after the country last staged the same event, while this was the first women's youth tournament in Switzerland since expansion of the European Women's Under-17 Championship final tournament from four to eight participants saw that event moved away from Nyon after the first six editions, in 2014.
Biel, Yverdon-les-Bains, Wohlen and Zug were the host venues, with the two semi-finals and the final of this, the 17th edition of the tournament, held in the 3,261-capacity Arena Biel/Bienne. Fifteen games were played, involving the now traditional two group stages, with the winners and runners-up of both progressing to the semi-finals. The first two matchdays saw double-headers staged at the same venues – Biel and Wohlen on the opening matchday, Yverdon-les-Bains and Zug on matchday two – while the decisive final group fixtures were played simultaneously, one in each of the four venues.
The nations drawn into Group A – the hosts, Norway, holders Spain and 2017's beaten finalists France – were based in Zug, with the location of their fixtures ensuring they travelled no more than 45 minutes to Wohlen, or just five minutes to the city's Stadion Herti Allmend. The Group B nations – Italy, Denmark, the Netherlands and Germany – had 40 and 53 minutes to travel respectively to Biel and Yverdon from their Bern base. Of the final eight, only Denmark had failed to appear in a previous final, with all the other nations except Norway – three-time finalists – having lifted the trophy at least once before.
With the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup France 2018 due to start less than a week after the final in Biel, however, the four nations who had also qualified for that competition – France as hosts, Germany, Spain and Netherlands from their performances in Northern Ireland in 2017 – all faced the dilemma of which players to send to which tournament, with several changes also made to their regular coaching and backroom staff due to that event. A discussion of how they resolved this double qualification is included in this report, which includes the observations of UEFA's technical observers Béatrice von Siebenthal and Monika Staab.
Six referees and seven assistant referees from nations who had not qualified for the finals were joined by two local fourth officials.
Former Switzerland internationals Caroline Abbé and Martina Moser, who each earned over 120 caps, were the tournament's ambassadors, having both previously participated in the finals en route from Under-19s to becoming senior internationals, and they helped promote women's football at several grassroot events staged around the venues on matchdays, and attracting widespread participation among young girls.
UEFA's Together #WePlayStrong campaign continued during the tournament, with events to promote involvement in girls' and women's football.
Observations of the tournament have been compiled in this technical report which, in addition to providing a permanent record of the event, aims to offer useful information to coaches working at the development levels of the women's game.