European football governing body, UEFA has today come out to announce that it has abolished the famous Away goals rule from all its tournaments.
The rule which many teams have used when visiting opponents has been in use since 1965 when it was introduced by the body.
According to the UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin the decision to remove the famous away goals rule was not a unanimous one but stated that there was general preference that is removed due to its fairness coming to question.
“The away goals rule has been an intrinsic part of UEFA competitions since it was introduced in 1965,” Ceferin said.
“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.”
The decision to remove the away goals rule will be applied to the mens competitions, women and youth which the UEFA president believes could lead to more attack minded ties with teams knowing there is no advantage to take away.
Ceferin added: “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.
“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.”
The Person who will be happy with UEFA’s decision
A man who will be happy with this decision is former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger who has been at the forefront of it being completely abolished. This he said during one of his pressers in 2015.
Recently in 2020, Wenger appearing on beIN Sports after the Chelsea Bayern Munich ties stated that “Sometimes I feel that this away goal becomes a big handicap when you play your first game at home because you have to attack with keeping a certain security and not giving away too much.”
“I proposed that for a long time – to get rid of the away goal at least until you go into extra-time, because the weight of the away goal is too big in the modern game.
“It’s not justifiable any more. That [was brought in at] a time when away from home there was no television, they would kick you off the park, the pitches were bad.
“I think it would be a good decision [to do away with the away goals rule until after extra time].” He added.
It is obvious that this decision will be received by a ray of mixed feelings. But one thing is certain, teams that were eliminated from European championships based on away goals rule recently will be more than happy with the verdict.
Author: Moses Echodu
Moses is an avid Sports and Tech enthusiast. He loves to keep up to date with all the latest information and research on some of the most compelling stories.