UEFA scraps away goals rule from 2021/22 season

From next season, the ties in which two teams are locked with the same number of goals over two legs, will have to play two 15-minute periods of extra time, followed by a penalty-shootout if required.

The rule will be effective from the 2021/22 season.   -  REUTERS

European football's governing body, UEFA has scrapped the away goals rule from all club competitions under the body's jurisdiction from the 2021/22 season.

From next season, the ties in which two teams are locked with the same number of goals over two legs, will have to play two 15-minute periods of extra time, followed by a penalty-shootout if required.

UEFA said, "Statistics since the mid-1970s 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."

"Since 2009/10, the average goals per game have remained very steady in the UWCL with the overall average of 1.92 for home teams and 1.6 for away teams."

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UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin 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."

"It is fair to say that home advantage is nowadays no longer as significant as it once was," Ceferin said.

What is the rule?

The away goals rule, introduced by UEFA in 1965-66, has been applied when the score of a two-legged tie is level on aggregate after 180 minutes, with the team scoring more goals away from its home venue declared winners.

The decision to scrap the away goals rule was taken by UEFA's Executive Committee following the recommendation of its Club Competitions Committee and the Women's Football Committee.

UEFA said since away goals will no longer be given additional weight to decide a tie, they would also be removed from the criteria used to determine the rankings when two or more teams are equal on points in the group stage.

--(With inputs from Reuters)--

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