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UEFA confirm that away goals rule will be removed from 2021/22 season

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The away goal rule has been in place since 1965

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UEFA confirm that away goals rule will be removed from 2021/22 season

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SportsCafe Desk

06/24/2021

In a statement, UEFA have revealed that following a recommendation they have approved a proposal that will remove the away goals rule from all UEFA club competitions. UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin also added that he believes that it’s an unfair rule and one that affected the game.

While many managers and players, including former Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger and Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone, advocating for the removal of the away goals rule, UFEA never made a change. But with the criticism and hatred over the rule, that was introduced during the 1965/66 season, especially since it restricts the side playing at home, things have changed. That is especially as football has changed with home advantage losing it’s stature.

That has seen UEFA respond in like with European football’s governing body confirming the news that the away goals rule has been removed from the 2021/22 season. That will see the rule removed completely from all forms of UEFA competition including the women’s and the youth version of the competitions. The statement further confirmed that this comes after a “recommendation of the UEFA Club Competitions Committee and the UEFA Women’s Football Committee”.

“Following the recommendation of the UEFA Club Competitions Committee and the UEFA Women’s Football Committee, the UEFA Executive Committee has today approved a proposal to remove the so-called away goals rule from all UEFA club competitions (men, women and youth) as of the qualifying phases of the 2021/22 competitions,” reads the statement.

“With the decision to remove this rule, ties in which the two teams score the same number of goals over the two legs would be not decided on the number of goals scored away, but two 15-minute periods of extra time are played at the end of the second leg and in case the teams score the same number of goals or no goals during this extra time, kicks from the penalty mark would determine the team which qualifies to the next stage of the competition.

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin had a lot to say on the matter as he believes the rule was unfair to the home side and affected the game of football on the whole. Ceferin also admitted that the hatred from the coaches, fans and managers came into play during UEFA’s decision making alongside the fact that the “impact of the rule now runs counter to it’s original purpose”.

“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,” Ceferin told UEFA.com.

“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," he added.

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