Opinion

UEFA Scraps Goal Rule in Champions League and Europa League

By Alexander Johnson Adejoh

UEFA has abolished the away goal rule in all club competitions from the 2021/22 season.

Instead, ties that are still level after two matches will go to extra time and penalties.

‘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,’ UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin said.

‘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.

‘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.’ Ceferin added.

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