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Reasons, Advantages & Disadvantages of UEFA Scrapping the Away Goals Rule

The away goal rule was originally introduced by UEFA in 1965 mainly because teams usually play negative football on the road with the aim of getting a draw before winning at home to progress into the next round.

In those days, lots of factors contributes to the advantages of home teams, ranging from rigorous international travel schedules coupled with loads of time consuming experiences.

That gap has however been reduced in modern day football, and the purpose of the away goal has been stretched thin.

When the decision to scrap the away goal was made, UEFA President had this to say:

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin said: “The impact of the rule now runs counter to its original purpose.

He went further to explain that the away goal tends to make teams and football play boring as home teams just sit back over fear on conceding goals if they attack.

There is also criticisms of unfairness as home teams are made to score twice if an away team score once in extra time.

“It is fair to say that home advantage is nowadays no longer as significant as it once was.”

The away goal used to play significant roles in not just knockout games but also group matches.

If two teams end the group level on points and aggregate score, the team with a higher away goal automatically tops the other scrapping the rules puts an end to this also.

In knockout games, if teams finish the second leg level on aggregate score, the game into a 30minutes extra time and if no team takes the lead, the winner will be decided by a penalty shootout.


After the announcement was made Jamie Carragher had this to say :

“The away goals rule in Europe makes the games so much more exciting.”

Most people feel teams are already playing negative football away from home especially if their first leg is away, such was evident in the quarter final game between Manchester City and Atletico De Madrid when the Spanish side deployed a 5-5-0 formation and ended the game with a 0 shot on target.

Another SKY Sport Pundit had the following opinion :

He mockingly said: “UEFA need to come up with some way to incentivise attacking play from the away side in knockout games.

“Terrible decision to abolish the away goal rule.”

Despite all of this, former Arsenal manager, Arsene Wenger has been a strong advocate of the away goals abolishment. With Chelsea manager, Thomas Tuchel echoing the same sentiments.

I had the impression that it gives chance to be more offensive because you can think about scoring and not so much about conceding.

“When we were asked at the UEFA meeting, I was like the majority and all coaches pretty much voted for this change of rule to make it clearer and more understandable.” said Tuchel in February.

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