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UEFA scraps away goals rule in Champions League, Europa, others

By News Desk

The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) has disclosed that plans have been completed to scrap the away goals rule for all of its club competitions from next season in favour of extra time and a penalty shootout.

It explained that from 2021-2022 season, ties would be decided by playing two 15-minute periods of extra time at the end of the second leg for any two teams that score the same number of goals over the two legs.

UEFA President, Aleksander Ceferin, said that in the event that teams score the same number of goals or fail to score at all during extra time, a penalty shootout would then be held to decide the winner.

He clarified that Champions League, Europa League, Europa Conference League, and Women’s Champions League matches will no longer use the away goals rule.

Justifying the planned away goals scrapping through a statement on Thursday, the UEFA boss noted that away goals rule actually discouraged home teams from attacking, especially in the first leg.

“It is no longer appropriate for an away goal to carry more weight. 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 said in a statement.

Continuing, he said, “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.”

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