UEFA committee votes to scrap out goals in Champions League and Europa League shake-up

The governing body's Club Competitions Committee reached the verdict at a meeting on Friday and UEFA's Executive Committee will today decide whether to eliminate the away goals rule

UEFA committee votes to scrap out goals in Champions League and Europa League shake-up

UEFA's Club Competitions Committee has voted to scrap the away goals rule in a movement that might drastically alter knock-out European fixtures.

Officials reached the verdict at a meeting Friday and UEFA's Executive Committee will now determine whether to sanction the shift.

The principle stipulates that when two teams are level on aggregate after two legs, then the side which has scored more away goals will advance to the next round.

It has been a controversial feature of European rivals since 1965 and is credited by some with creating the knock-out stages of the Champions League and Europa League especially thrilling and unpredictable.

But many UEFA executives believe the rule is outdated and agreed to get rid of away goals during a conference in Porto, according to The Times.

They will now begin the process of making the change and lobbying the Executive Committee for approval.

A previous report asserted the use of neutral venues throughout the coronavirus pandemic made the rule redundant.

Liverpool, Manchester City and Chelsea played Champions League fixtures at neutral areas earlier this year, as did Manchester United, Arsenal and Tottenham at the Europa League.

Some UEFA officials are also known to feel that playing at home is no longer such an edge as it was.

Although popular among many lovers, the away goals rule has been in the spotlight for many decades.

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

Among the rule's foremost critics is legendary former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, who currently works as FIFA's Chief of Global Football Development.

"I feel the tactical weight of the off goal has become too significant," said Wenger at 2008. "Teams get a 0-0 draw at home and they're happy. Instead of having a positive effect, it's been pushed too much tactically in today's game.

"It's the opposite effect than it was supposed to have. It favours defending well when you play at home."

Opposition to the rule intensified three years ago as leading European managers Jose Mourinho, Unai Emery and Massimiliano Allegri called for a review.

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