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UEFA scraps away goal rule from all club competitions

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UEFA has announced the away goals rule will be removed from all club competitions starting next season.

“The away goals rule has been an intrinsic part of UEFA competitions since it was introduced in 1965,” UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin said in a statement.

European football’s governing body said all ties level on aggregate at the end of the second leg would now go to extra-time.

“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,” Ceferin continued.

“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.”

UEFA said away goals would also no longer be separating criteria when looking at matches between two or more sides level on points in the group stage.

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