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The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) has confirmed that the away goals rule will be abolished from all UEFA club competitions at the start of the 2021-22 season.
UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin who made this disclosure in a statement on Thursday explained that the rule now ‘runs counter to its original purpose’ while asserting that it dissuades teams from playing attacking football.
This means fixtures in which the two teams score the same number of goals over the two legs will now have two 15-minute periods of extra time, and, if required, penalty kicks.
The statement as obtained by Africa Today News, New York reads in part: ‘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.
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‘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.
‘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’s 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’s no longer appropriate for an away goal to carry more weight than one scored at home.’
The away goals rule has been used for over half a century but will no longer decide knockout matches in UEFA club competitions, including the Champions League and Europa League.
AFRICA TODAY NEWS, NEW YORK