UEFA Remove Away Goals Rule From Its Competitions

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UEFA has confirmed that the away goals rule will not be used in their competitions from next season for the first time in 56 years next season.

UEFA Scrap Away Goals Rule From European Competitions

Statistics Highlight the Rule is Out of Date, According to UEFA

The news has evoked a mixed reaction from fans and created a debate about whether the rule is still beneficial for two-legged knockout ties in Europe.

The decision was made by European football’s governing body due to statistics that show the home advantage has changed since the implementation of the rule in 1965. Alexander Ceferin claimed the rule now ‘runs counter to its original purpose’ and ‘dissuades home teams from attacking’.

UEFA released a statement confirming the news and explaining the logic behind the decision, which read: “Statistics from the mid-1970s until now show a clear trend of continuous reduction in the gap between the number of home/away wins (from 61%/19% to 47%/30%) and the average number of goals per match scored at home/away (from 2.02/0.95 to 1.58/1.15) in men’s competitions, whereas since 2009/10, the average goals per game have remained very steady in the UEFA Women’s Champions League with the overall average of 1.92 for home teams and 1.6 for away teams.”

We Will Miss the Chaos and Nonsense of the Away Goal Rule

There is plenty of reason to remove the away goal rule as UEFA have today pointed out. It can deter teams from attacking while playing at home and the original purpose of the rule is outdated. Many teams have outperformed opponents in the Champions/Europa League and gone out on away goals. That can be difficult to accept.

The solution can cause more problems, though. We will now see more games go to extra time and ultimately, penalty shootouts. This is an even more random and unfair method of breaking a deadlock.

Without the away goal rule many of the great comebacks in European competition history would not have happened. Tottenham Hotspur‘s Champions League final in 2019, Barcelona’s triumph in 2009, and several other fairy tale moments might not have happened if it wasn’t for the away goal rule.

Sure, you can argue against the away goals rule, but we will still miss the drama it gave us.

 

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