Categories: Champions League

UEFA abolishes away goals rule in European Cup


The away goals rule, applicable since 1965, will no longer be in force from the 2021/2022 financial year.

UEFA confirmed on Thursday that the away goals rule will be removed from European competitions. The change will be implemented for the start of the 2021-22 season.

The away goals rule has been in use for more than half a century, but will no longer decide knockout matches in UEFA club competitions, especially in the Champions League and Europa League.

UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin explained that the rule “goes against its original purpose” and said he was convinced she was dissuading teams from playing attacking football.

Why was the rule removed?

The away goals rule has been in place since the 1965-66 season, when it was used in the Cup Winners’ Cup.

For some time now, there have been many advocates for his withdrawal from UEFA club competitions, with former Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger and Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone opposing its concept.

The general feeling was that the rule was restrictive for those playing at home, especially in the first leg of the round of 16, with the idea that scoring away goals almost counted for double.

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Indeed, an official UEFA statement highlights the fact that there has been a reduction in home wins and goals in UEFA competitions. The statement said: “Statistics from the mid-1970s up to now show a clear trend of a continuing narrowing of the gap between the number of home / away wins (from 61% / 19% to 47% / 30%) and the number average goals per game scored at home / away (2.02 / 0.95 to 1.58 / 1.15) in men’s competitions. While since 2009-10, average goals per game have remained very stable in UEFA Women’s Champions League with an overall average of 1.92 for home teams and 1.6 for away teams. “

What will happen now if the scores are tied?

UEFA has announced that, as is often the case in many top football competitions around the world, if the scores are still tied in a knockout match, there will be two qualifying periods. 15-minute extension. If the teams score the same number of goals, or if no other goals are scored, in a draw, a penalty shoot-out will be held to determine which team will qualify.

The UEFA president also said: “The away goals rule has been an integral part of UEFA competitions since its introduction in 1965. However, the question of its abolition has been debated at various UEFA meetings in recent years. ‘there was no unanimity of views, many coaches, supporters and other players in football questioned its fairness and expressed their preference for the abolition of the rule. ”The impact of the rule now defeats its original purpose as, in effect, it deters home teams – especially in the first leg – from attacking, as they fear conceding a goal that would give their opponents a crucial advantage . There’s also the unfair rule, especially in overtime, of forcing the home team to score twice when the away team has scored. It’s fair to say that the home advantage isn’t as big as it used to be. Given the consistency across Europe in terms of playing styles, and many different factors that led to a decline in the home advantage, the UEFA Executive Committee made the right decision in adopting the point in view that it is no longer appropriate for an away goal to carry more weight than a goal scored at home. “

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