Away Goals Rule Scrapped in UEFA Champions and Europa Leagues

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All ties on aggregate at the end of the second leg will now go to extra time. Games in the Champions League, Europa League, Europa Conference League and Women’s Champions League will no longer use the rule.

A man walks inside the headquarters of European football body UEFA in Nyon on April 6, 2016. Swiss police raided the headquarters of European football body UEFA on April 6 following the latest revelations of a web of Panama-based offshore financial dealings by the rich and famous. The raid came after the so-called Panama Papers revealed that newly elected FIFA president Gianni Infantino signed TV rights contracts for the Champions League with a company headed by two defendants later caught up in the corruption scandal that engulfed football’s world body. / AFP PHOTO / FABRICE COFFRINI

The away goals rule in European club football is to be abolished from the start of next season, governing body Uefa has confirmed.

The rule, used since 1965, decided to draw two-legged games by favouring the team that scored the most away goals.

All ties level on aggregate at the end of the second leg will instead now go to extra time.

“It is no longer appropriate for an away goal to carry more weight,” said Uefa president Aleksander Ceferin.

Uefa’s club competitions committee made the proposal in May and it has now been approved by the body’s executive committee.

It means games in the Champions League, Europa League, Europa Conference League and Women’s Champions League will no longer use the rule.

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Uefa says there is now a smaller gap between the number of home and away wins as well as home and away goals scored in European competitions compared to when the rule was introduced, reducing home advantage.

It says that is down to a number of factors including pitch quality, improved stadium infrastructure and new technology such as the video assistant referee.

“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,” Ceferin added.

“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.”

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