Champions League

UEFA to Scrap Away Goal Rule in Champions League and Europa League Shake-Up

UEFA have reportedly decided to scrap the away goals rule from European competitions
UEFA have reportedly decided to scrap the away goals rule from European competitions / ROBIN VAN LONKHUIJSEN/Getty Images

UEFA have reportedly voted in favour of scrapping the away goals rule as they look to shake-up their trademark competitions - Champions League and Europa League.

The 'away goal' rule has been a part of the competitions for the last 56 years, and meant that the team who scored the most goals away from home over a two-legged fixture would win the match if scores are level on aggregate after extra time in the second leg.

However, according to The Times, following a meeting on Friday, UEFA have decided to get rid of the rule, and only need an executive committee to approve the vote.

Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher hit out at UEFA for calling the rule into question, telling them they are making a 'big mistake' as it could make games less exciting. He tweeted: "The away goals rule in Europe makes the games so much more exciting, please read this thread for the reasons why you are making a big mistake."

Previous reports have claimed that matches being played on neutral grounds this season owing to the coronavirus pandemic made the rule redundant. Liverpool, Manchester City, and Chelsea played Champions League fixtures at neutral venues earlier this year, as did Manchester United, Arsenal, and Tottenham in the Europa League.

Juventus were knocked out of the Champions League at the last 16 stage by Porto this season after losing 2-1 in the away leg and winning 3-2 in Turin.

Legendary former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has previously voiced his opinion in favour of seeing the rule abolished.

"I believe the tactical weight of the away goal has become too important," said Wenger in 2008.

He concluded, "Teams get a 0-0 draw at home and they’re happy. Instead of having a positive effect, it has been pushed too far tactically in the modern game. It has the opposite effect than it was supposed to have. It favours defending well when you play at home."