UEFA has confirmed that the away goals rule has been abolished from all UEFA competitions from next season onwards. The rule was meant to provide a tie-breaker in case the aggregate score over two legs was the same. In this scenario, the team that scored more away goals would progress to the next round. PSG and Porto benefitted from this rule last season. In 2019, the Spurs beat Manchester City in the quarter-finals as well as Ajax in the semi-finals thanks to the away goals rule. UEFA is hoping that the change in rules will now lead to a more attacking style of football.
“The away goals rule has been an intrinsic part of UEFA competitions since it was introduced in 1965,” UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin said when asked about the change in the away goals rule. “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.”
“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,” he 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.”