How UEFA's Game-Changing Revamp of Champions League Rules Could Revolutionise the Tournament

CC0 / MaxPixel's contributors / Ball Goal Football
Ball Goal Football - Sputnik International, 1920, 15.02.2022
For years, football managers, including the likes of Real Madrid's Carlo Ancelotti, Diego Simeone of Atletico Madrid, and Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel have slammed the away rule in the Champions League for putting undue pressure on the home team. But it is set to become a thing of the past after a major overhaul of the tournament's rules.
History will be made on Tuesday as UEFA's game-changing revamp of the rules in Europe's premier club tournament, the Champions League, will finally kick in, with away goals no longer having the same value they earlier did.
The longstanding rule, which was enacted way back in 1965, meant that an away goal was worth double if a visiting team scored against a home team.
For instance, if Real Madrid scored against Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) at the latter's home, their goal had double weightage, considering the only way the hosts could nullify that advantage was by striking twice versus the visitors.
From now on, a home team will not have to score two goals to cancel an away goal, ensuring matches that go past the customary 90 minutes are fought with the same vigour even in extra time and beyond.
UEFA, football's governing body in Europe, has abolished the rule across all its continental competitions, including the Champions League, Europa League, and Conference League and that's why clubs will have to change their tactics if they want to progress further in each of these tournaments.
Coming back to the Champions League, in case the scores are tied after regular time of the second leg of a knockout fixture, the game will head to extra time and if the two teams can't get to a result even there, then the outcome of the contest will be decided through penalties.
Earlier, the side which had more away goals to its name was declared as the winner.
UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin has claimed that the move will make the Champions League more "fair", besides making the matches more intriguing.
"It is fair to say that home advantage is nowadays no longer as significant as it once was", Ceferin said, announcing UEFA's decision to do away with the rule.
"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", he concluded.
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