June 25 – In an historic move, the away goals rule, in place since the mid-1960s, is being scrapped in all European club competitions from the start of next season.
After 56 years, UEFA announced that in future, games tied on aggregate after two legs will be decided by extra time and penalties
The new system will be used in the Champions League, Europa League, Europa Conference League and Women’s Champions League.
“It is no longer appropriate for an away goal to carry more weight,” said UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin. “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 rule came under particular scrutiny last season when some matches were held at neutral venues due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The decision was taken by UEFA’s Executive Committee following the recommendation of its Club Competitions Committee and the Women’s Football Committee.
“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,” added Ceferin
“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.”