UEFA competitions: Away goals rule could be scrapped


Europe’s leading managers have called for an end to the away goals rule, which has been a staple of UEFA’s competitions for over 50 years.

The annual gathering of top coaches in Switzerland heard that top bosses want the rule scrapped, citing that football has moved on since it was first introduced in the Cup Winners’ Cup in 1965.

Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho and Arsenal ‘s Unai Emery were both in attendance at the summit, along with Napoli’s Carlo Ancelotti, PSG boss Thomas Tuchel , new Real Madrid manager Julen Lopetegui, Atletico Madrid’s Diego Simeone, Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri and Emery’s Arsenal predecessor Arsene Wenger.

“The coaches think that scoring goals away is not as difficult as it was in the past,” said UEFA’s deputy general secretary Giorgio Marchetti.

“They think the rule should be reviewed and that’s what we will do.”

He added that the managers now see the rule counter-productive as it encouraged home teams to play defensive football to try and prevent a costly away goal.

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The rule was initially introduced 53 years ago to prevent the staging of multiple replays when matches were deadlocked, and as a fairer way to decide games at a time when matches could also be decided by the toss of a coin.

The summit also heard that coaches would like to see European transfer windows close at the same time, prior to the start of the season.

Both England and Italy’s top-flights closed their windows before the start of the 2018/19 season, but Spain, France and Germany proceeded until August 31.

“The coaches are of an opinion that there should be a unified window and the window should close before the competition starts,” said Marchetti.

“The idea would be to try and bring them into line.”

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