UEFA's deputy general secretary Giorgio Marchetti has confirmed Europe’s football governing body will review the away goal rule and its use in continental competitions.
First implemented by UEFA at the 1965-66 European Cup Winners Cup, the rule was a point of discussion at the annual coaches meeting in Nyon with many of Europe’s top coaches believing the rule should scrapped.
The UEFA Champions League along with the Europa, CAF Champions League, CAF Confederation Cupand AFC Champions League all use the away goal rule during knock-out stages.
CONMEBOL scrapped the rule for the 2008 Copa Liberatores, instead employing extra time after the second-leg to decide the tie but have since reinstated the rule as part of the competition.
Away goals add further layers of excitement and intrigue to a tournament, providing hope for teams in what would otherwise be impossible circumstances.
Roma’s famous Champions League quarter-final win over Barcelona was decided on away goals after both sides were tied on aggregate.
The rule rewards teams being audacious and adopting an attacking style when playing in front of a partisan away crowd.
Though Europe’s top coaches believe the rule has become irrelevant in contemporary times due to the improvement of stadia throughout Europe, in addition to the travelling element being a larger part of the routine than when the rule was first implemented.
FNR_Football Nation Radio’sAdriano Del Monte says removing the rule would be “ridiculous” and would significantly change the dynamic of the knock-out stages in Europe’s tournaments.
“The coaches believe in this day and age it’s easier to score on the road in Europe,” he said.
“Maybe for the big sides – but what hope do smaller sides have when playing bigger opposition in a knockout tie?”
While the rule encourages teams playing away to adopt attacking styles it can be said it has the opposite effect on the home side who may opt to instead heavily protect their goal.
Also discussed in Nyon was the introduction of VAR and the transfer window.