The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) announced on Thursday the abolition from this summer in all its club competitions of the away goals rule, which served to decide between two tied teams after their home and away matches.
“Following up on the recommendation of the Club Competitions Committee and the UEFA Women’s Football Committee, the UEFA Executive Committee today (Thursday) approved the proposal to remove the so-called ‘goals rule’. registered outside “all UEFA club competitions (namely men, women and juniors) from UEFA, and this from the qualifying phases of the 2021/22 season”, specifies the body in a communicated.
The away goals rule was intended to determine the winner of a two-game knockout encounter when both teams had scored the same cumulative number of goals in both matches. In such a case, the team which had scored the most away goals would win the game and advance to the next round of the competition.
If the number of goals scored at home and away was the same for both teams at the end of regulation time for the second leg, extra time was played, followed by kicks from the penalty mark if no goal was left. registered during overtime.
With the decision to abolish this rule, two teams having scored the same number of goals in all two matches in a match will not be separated according to the number of away goals scored, but two overtime periods. 15 minutes will be played at the end of regular time in the second leg, and if neither team scores or if the teams score the same number of goals during extra time, a penalty shoot-out will determine which of the two teams are on the line. qualifies for the next phase of the competition, explains UEFA.
As away goals will no longer have any additional weight to decide between two teams, they will also cease to be used as a criterion for determining the ranking in the event of a tie in points of several teams in the group stage. , that is to say that they will no longer appear among the criteria applied to the matches played by the teams concerned, details the body.
According to the same source, away goals will however continue to be used as an additional criterion for all group matches in the event of a tie between teams (higher number of away goals in all group matches), in order to maintain as many sporting criteria as possible.
Statistics from the mid-1970s to date show a clear trend towards a gradual reduction in the gap between the number of home and away wins (from 61% at home to 19% away from home). at 47% at home and 30% away) and the difference between the average number of goals scored per game at home and away (2.02 at home and 0.95 away at 1.58 at home and 1.15 away) in men’s competitions, while since 2009/10 the average number of goals per game has remained very stable in the UEFA Women’s Champions League, averaging 1, 92 for the home team and 1.6 for the visiting team, it says.
UEFA considers that many factors have influenced this reduction in the home advantage, including better quality of pitches and standardized sizes, improved stadium infrastructure, improved safety conditions, increased attention brought to refereeing (and, more recently, the introduction of technological supports such as TLB and VAR), wider and more sophisticated TV coverage of matches, more comfortable travel conditions, a very busy schedule imposing a staff turnover and changes in competition formulas.