UEFA to discontinue the away goals rule from upcoming 2021-22 season

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With immediate effect, UEFA has agreed to remove goals from all European club championships. Since its inception in 1965, the rule has been used to determine the victor of a two-legged knockout tie in which both sides scored the same number of goals on aggregate in both matches.

In these situations, earlier the team that scored the most goals away from home was declared the winner of the tie and advanced to the next round of the competition. Extra time was played in the second leg if the two sides had scored the same number of goals at home and away at the end of normal play time. If no goal was scored, kicks from the penalty mark were taken.

Ties in which the two sides score the same number of goals across the two legs will no longer be decided by the number of goals scored away, thanks to the decision to repeal this regulation. At the conclusion of the second leg, two 15-minute periods of extra time will be played. If the teams score the same number of goals or no goals during the extra time, the team that qualifies for the next stage of the competition will be determined by penalty kicks from the penalty mark.

Because away goals would no longer be given weight in deciding a tie, they would be eliminated from the criteria used to calculate rankings when two or more teams are tied for first place in a group.

via Marca

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin said, “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.”

There are a variety of things that could be contributing to the loss of home advantage. Better pitch quality and standardized pitch sizes, improved stadium infrastructure, increased security, improved refereeing care (GLT and VAR), wider and more sophisticated TV coverage of matches, more comfortable travel conditions, a compressed calendar dictating squad turnover, and changes in competition formats have all been implemented. All of these factors have influenced the way football is played and blurred the distinctions between home and away games.

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