UEFA scrap the away goal rule in both Champions League and Europa League

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UEFA has abolished the away goal rule in all club competitions from the 2021/22 season.

Instead, ties that are still level after two matches will go to extra time and penalties.

UEFA believe the decision will make for a fairer contest, but the announcement has already received something of a backlash on social media.

UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin said: "The away goals rule has been an intrinsic part of UEFA competitions since it was introduced in 1965. 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."

(Image: PA)

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.

"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 away goal rule was introduced to European club football in 1965.

The idea was to put the onus on the away side to come out and attack when on the road rather than settle for a draw and try and get the job done at home.

It also cut down on the amount of football individuals would have to play over the course of a season, which helps with injuries.

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