UEFA have today announced an important change to their rules ahead of the 2021/22 season. The European body have announced that the away goals rule will be scrapped in all their competitions, which are as follows: the UEFA Champions League, the UEFA Women's Champions League, the UEFA Europa League and the recently created UEFA Europa Conference League.
This means that, when two teams end a two-legged tie with the same number of goals scored, the winner will be decided either after extra time or a penalty shoot-out, even if one of the two sides scored more away goals. UEFA have justified their decision by explaining that "statistics from the mid-1970s until now show a clear trend of continuous reduction in the gap between the number of home/away wins, and the average number of goals per match scored at home/away in men’s competitions, whereas since 2009/10, the average goals per game have remained very steady in the UEFA Women’s Champions League".
UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin said: "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". This rule will apply to Sevilla FC in the UEFA Champions League next season.