Richie McCormack
Richie McCormack

19.37 28 May 2021


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The away goals rule is soon to be a thing of the past in European competition. 

UEFA's clubs competitions committee voted to scrap the rule on Friday, pending approval from UEFA's Executive Committee.

The away goals rule was first introduced in the 1965-66 Cup Winners' Cup. It was brought into the European Cup for the first round of the 1967-68 competition, and spread to later rounds in 1970-71.

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This season saw Paris Saint-Germain progress to the semi-finals of the Champions League by beating Bayern Munich on away goals.

While Porto beat Juventus on away goals after extra-time to set up a quarter-final with Chelsea.

However, there is a feeling that the rule has become outdated and in danger of alienating new fans.

Former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has been among the most vocal critics of the away goals rule.

"What it does today is to encourage the team at home not to attack," he said in 2015, "You protect your clean sheet because it becomes vital. So it encourages more defensive football in some situations than offensive football."

It's not the only major alteration likely to hit the Champions League.

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin has given his backing to a 'final-4' format, influenced by last season's sprint to the final in Portugal.

Under the proposal, both semi-finals and final would be held in the one city with the semis just single-leg affairs.

The quarter-finals onward were played under such a format to complete the 2019-20 campaign.

"Personally, I would like it to be done," Ceferin told L'Équipe, "I am in favour of a 'final 4' in the Champions League.

"It could be great. And effective in terms of income if it is done well."

The Slovenian added, "We are discussing it", but offered the caveat that the proposal is not urgent, saying "We can decide that in a year".


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Aleksander Ceferin Away Goals Away Goals Rule Champions League Conference League Europa League UEFA UEFA Champions League UEFA Europa Conference League UEFA Europa League

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