UEFA Abolishes Away Goal Rule

June 24, 2021
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UEFA has confirmed that the away goals rule will be abolished from European competitions and will be put into place from the 2021-22 season.

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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.”

The away goals rule has been in place since the 1965-66 season, when it was used in the Cup Winners Cup.

There have been many advocating for its removal from UEFA club competitions for a while now, with the likes of former Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger and Atletico Madrid head coach Diego Simeone having been against its use.

 

When will the rule change come into effect?

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The scrapping of the away goals rule will come into play immediately and be in place for the start of the 2021-22 campaign.

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Indeed, qualification for the 2021-22 Champions League has already begun, with two preliminary round first-leg matches having already taken place.

Kosovan club Prishtina face Andorran side Inter Escaldes in the second leg of their prelimnary tie, and seemingly the away goals rule will now not decide that return leg, due to take place on June 25, with Prishtina currently 2-0 ahead on aggregate.

Confirming that the rule change would come into play for 2021-22 competitions, a UEFA statement read: “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.”

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