The Union of European Football Association (UEFA) has scrapped the away goal rule.
The rule which has been in use since the 1965 season will no longer decide games when the 2021/2022 season.
UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin explained that “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.”
According to UEFA’s official statement, the statistics show that there are far less home wins which they attribute to the away goal rule.
The statement read: “Statistics from the mid-1970s until now 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.”
Football greats like Athletico Madrid’s coach, Diego Simone and Arsenal’s legendary manager have in the past criticised the rule too.
The new rule will be binding both on the UEFA Champions League and the Europa League when the new season starts in September.
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