UEFA makes staggering decision to change 'unfair' rule after 56 years

·Sports Reporter
·4-min read
Jordan Henderson (pictured) kissing the Champions League trophy.
UEFA has abolished the away goals rule for future club competitions. (Getty Images)

UEFA has made the divisive call to abolish the 'away goals' rule for club competitions after more than 56 years.

The away goals rule, introduced by UEFA in 1965-66, has been applied when the score of a two-legged tie is level on aggregate after 180 minutes, with the team scoring more goals away from their home venue declared winners.

'RIGGED': Football fans rage over 'disgraceful' Euro 2020 farce

INCREDIBLE: Football world goes bonkers over iconic Euro 2020 image

The aim of the rule was to encourage away teams to attack more, instead of setting up to defend, on the road.

While always a controversial rule, it came under scrutiny last season with some matches being held at neutral venues without spectators due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin said as football has evolved, the rule has been counter-productive.

"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."

This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.
Update your settings here to see it.

"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," Ceferin said.

Fans react to away goals change

But not all fans were thrilled with the decision.

The away goals rule has delivered some of the most memorable nights in the Champions and Europa League with mammoth comebacks a part of the competition.

This prompted a mix reaction from fans over the change of rules after 56 years.

This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.
Update your settings here to see it.
This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.
Update your settings here to see it.
This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.
Update your settings here to see it.
This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.
Update your settings here to see it.
This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.
Update your settings here to see it.

UEFA defended their decision after posting statistics about the very gradual decline of goals from home teams since the 70s.

The governing body claimed the average goal home and away had dropped from 2.02 (home) and 0.95 (away) in the 70s to 1.58-1.15.

This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.
Update your settings here to see it.

The decision to scrap the away goals rule was taken by UEFA's Executive Committee following the recommendation of its Club Competitions Committee and the Women's Football Committee.

UEFA said since away goals will no longer be given additional weight to decide a tie, they would also be removed from the criteria used to determine the rankings when two or more teams are equal on points in the group stage.

with Reuters

Watch 'Mind Games', the new series from Yahoo Sport Australia exploring the often brutal mental toil elite athletes go through in pursuit of greatness:

Click here to sign up to our newsletter for all the latest and breaking stories from Australia and around the world.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting