UEFA abolish away goals rule in club competitions

Date published: Thursday 24th June 2021 2:47 - News Desk

Chelsea CL final Aleksander Ceferin F365

UEFA has abolished the away goals rule for all of its club competitions from next season.

European football’s governing body said all ties level on aggregate at the end of the second leg would now go to extra-time.

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin said: “The away goals rule has been an intrinsic part of UEFA competitions since it was introduced in 1965.


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“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.”

Ceferin added: “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.”

The latest versions of all UEFA club competition regulations can be accessed here.

UEFA cited statistics since the mid-1970s which showed how the gap between home and away wins had reduced.

It talked about better pitch quality, standardised pitch sizes, and even VAR as factors in the decline of home advantage.

UEFA said away goals would also no longer be a separating criteria when looking at matches between two or more sides level on points in the group stage.

However, the number of away goals scored in all group matches could be used from the additional separating criteria available if teams remain equal.

 

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