Earlier the two-legged Champions League knockout stage matches used to follow away goals rule if the aggregate score was a tie. The team which scored more goals in their away match won the tie, and in case of a draw in away goals rule as well, it went to extra time and eventually into penalties.
However, UEFA has now removed the away goals rule from all club competitions from the 2021-22 season. If the aggregate score ends in a draw, the team will head directly into extra time and then into penalties.
On the decision to abolish the rule, UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin said: “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.”
“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. Taking into consideration the consistency across Europe in terms of styles of play, and many different factors which have led to a decline in home advantage, the UEFA Executive Committee has taken the correct decision in adopting the view that it is no longer appropriate for an away goal to carry more weight than one scored at home.”
There were mixed reactions on Twitter about the removal of away goals rule. Let’s check out some tweets: