Football

Uefa has finally scrapped away goals rule for all Uefa competitions

Uefa has finally scrapped away goals rule for all Uefa competitions

Uefa has finally scrapped away goals rule for all Uefa competitions

 

The away goals rule, initially used back in 1965, was brought in to determine a winner in two-legged knockout ties where the two teams had scored the same number of goals on aggregate over the two matches.

The rule has been in place in European competition for 56 years, but reports had circulated for some time that it was to be abolished.

And at a meeting on Friday, last month, UEFA took the decision to scrap away goals – subject to executive committee approval.

The away goals rule will be removed from all UEFA club competitions from the 2021/22 season.

Ties in which the two teams score the same number of goals over the two legs will now have two 15-minute periods of extra time, and, if required, penalty kicks.

UEFA has voted to scrap away goals from all European club competitions with immediate effect.

The rule, which was introduced in 1965, has since been used to determine the winner of a two-legged knockout tie where teams had scored the same number of goals on aggregate over the two matches.

UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin said: ‘The away goals rule has been an intrinsic part of UEFA competitions since it was introduced in 1965. However, the question of its abolition has been debated at various UEFA meetings over the last few years.

‘Although there was no unanimity of views, many coaches, fans and other football stakeholders have questioned its fairness and have expressed a preference for the rule to be abolished.

‘The impact of the rule now runs counter to its original purpose as, in fact, it now dissuades home teams – especially in first legs – from attacking, because they fear conceding a goal that would give their opponents a crucial advantage.

‘There is also criticism of the unfairness, especially in extra time, of obliging the home team to score twice when the away team has scored.

‘It is fair to say that home advantage is nowadays no longer as significant as it once was.

‘Taking into consideration the consistency across Europe in terms of styles of play, and many different factors which have led to a decline in home advantage, the UEFA Executive Committee has taken the correct decision in adopting the view that it is no longer appropriate for an away goal to carry more weight than one scored at home.’

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