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Soccer Update: Away-goals Rule Set to be Scrapped by UEFA in European Club Tourneys

Posted by: Hilbert Mayer
Soccer Update Away-goals Rule Set to be Scrapped by UEFA in European Club Tourneys

The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) will do away with the away-goals rule. This will happen in all of its club tournaments beginning in the 2021-22 season. The new ruling expects UEFA-sanctioned two-leg knockout matches to become more exciting. This will prevent teams from holding the ball for long periods of time. Also, it will allow clubs to put a premium on attacking football. The decision will also mean more goals, benefitting online soccer betting sites that have bidders placing their bets on a high-scoring, two-legged knockout tie.

In a bid to make the game action-packed, UEFA officials decided to scrap the old rule. This is in favor of two 15-minute periods of extra time once the two-legged, home-and-away knockout showdown. This happens between UEFA-member clubs that remained tied after regulation time ended. In the event that both teams score the same number of goals or fail to score at all during extra time, a penalty shootout will then be held to decide the winner, reports said. Matches in the Champions League, Europa League, Europa Conference League, and Women’s Champions League will use the new format beginning next season.

Away-goals out, says UEFA president

According to UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin, the away-goals rule nowadays actually discouraged home teams from attacking, especially in the first leg. The football body also factored in statistical data. It notes a “progressive reduction” in the ratio of home to away wins. It is from 61:19 percent around three decades ago to 47:30 percent in recent seasons. UEFA likewise noted various factors that affected the decision. This includes better pitch quality, standardized pitch sizes, and improved stadium infrastructure. Other factors include higher security conditions and enhanced care of refereeing. More recently, the introduction of technological support such as goal-line technology and video assistant referee.

Ceferin further notes that the executive committee’s decision was firm. It is “correct in adopting the view that it is no longer appropriate for an away goal to carry more weight than one scored at home.” He added that the body took into consideration the consistency of the style of play in Europe. Other factors have led to a downtrend in home advantage in each game.

Everyone awaits the removal of the away-goals rule in favor of extra time and penalty shootout in two-legged knockout club competitions. Fans expect additional excitement for European soccer matches in the 2021-22 season. The new regulation will change the landscape of soccer sportsbooks as it will introduce additional prop bets that the betting public will pick upon in the upcoming season.

Bayern Munich to play Gladbach in 2021-22 Bundesliga kickoff

In other news, defending champion Bayern Munich will begin their quest. This is for another German Bundesliga title against Borussia Moenchengladbach on August 13. The Bayern-Gladbach showdown kicks off the 2021-22 Bundesliga season as the fixtures were released on Friday. The match will be the first game of Bayern coach Julian Nagelsmann and Gladbach mentor Adi Huetter with their new clubs. Nagelsmann came from Leipzig while Gladbach took Huetter from Eintracht Frankfurt. Bayern seeks to extend their record Bundesliga title streak to 10. 

Meanwhile, perennial Bayern foes, Borussia Dortmund, will open their quest for the title against Frankfurt. This will happen on either August 14 or 15 while Leipzig visits Mainz. Dortmund and Bayern will meet in a German Super Cup match on August 17.