Tuesday, January 26, 2021

A controversial decision by UEFA to help clubs in the Champions League!?

UEFA’s Executive Committee met in Rome on Wednesday to discuss a potential change on major rule removal.

A major rule change which could affect Liverpool could occur in both the Champions League and Europa League next season, as reports suggest UEFA are looking to scrap the away goal rule.

Union of European football Association could remove the rule from the Champions League and Europa League next season, with the Reds having fallen on both sides of it over several years.

The rule, which comes into effect in the result of a draw on aggregate after the second leg, first emerged in 1965 and was established in UEFA competitions towards the end of the decade and has stood ever since. However, the landscape of football has changed significantly since as the rule was initially introduced to counter enormous travel stress, match balls not being standardised and travelling supporters being few and far between.

It could all be in the past though, as Kicker report UEFA’s Executive Committee met in Rome on Wednesday to discuss a potential change although a final decision on the matter is not expected immediately. The first steps towards a change emerged in September 2018 when Giorgio Marchetti, UEFA’s competition director, confirmed that the top international coaches expressed their belief the rule was outdated.

Last season’s Champions League saw Kostas Manolas head a dramatic late goal for Roma in the second leg with Barcelona, sending the Italian side through to the semi-finals where they faced Liverpool after a 4-4 draw.

The Reds have fallen badly on both the sides of the ruling on their European adventures in recent years.

Their last away goals victory saw them knock Barcelona out of the Champions League in 2007, though they have been also been eliminated at the hands of Atletico Madrid and Zenit St Petersburg in the Europa League as a result in 2010 and 2013 respectively.

Author’s take:

The away goals rule first made an appearance in European football in  the Cup Winners’ Cup in 1965, primarily to eliminate the need for replays which were costly and difficult to arrange for the committee as well as for the audience. The rule away provides a team to qualify for the next round without further ado which sees abrupt and unfair to many coaches nowadays as they think away goals are not as difficult as in the past.


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