Away Goals UEFA
UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin announced Thursday that UEFA would no longer be using away goals to determine who advances in competitions. (Photo by Paul Murphy – UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images)

No More Away Goals in UEFA Club Competition

As of the 2021-22 season, the away goals rule will no longer be part of UEFA club competitions.

The rule was instituted in 1965, according to ESPN, and was designed to determine a winner when two squads were tied on aggregate score after a two-legged match. In that scenario, the team with the most away goals would advance. Following UEFA’s decision, the games will go into extra time, and potentially penalties, if the score is still level after the full 90 minutes.

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin had this to say about the now abolished rule:

“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. 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.”

VIA ESPN

“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.”

VIA ESPN

There was never going to be a unanimous verdict when it came to the away goals decision but soccer fans have been blessed with some great moments, like Liverpool’s 2019 comeback against Barcelona, because of the away goals rule.

The Catalan club also gave us one of the greatest matches in Champions League history during ‘La Remontada‘ – it translates to ‘The Comeback’ in English – against PSG in 2017. 2021 has seen teams like Juventus and Bayern Munich eliminated from European competitions because of the away goals rule. A solution that would make both sides happy does not exist, but soccer fans will at least have the chance to see what sorts of competition and chaos arise from the two-legged aggregate scores.

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