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Sport UEFA 'plotting major revamp' of away goals rule in Europe next season

11:45  14 april  2021
11:45  14 april  2021 Source:   dailymail.co.uk

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Reece Wabara et al. playing football on a field: MailOnline logo © Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo

UEFA are reportedly ready to change the away goals rule in the Champions League and Europa League for next season.

Under the new regulations, which are set to be agreed on Friday, away goals will only count up until the end of the 90 minutes of the second leg. If the tie then goes to extra-time, then the away goals rule will no longer count.

This is according to The Sun, who claim that the new proposals are being backed by Europe's top clubs with Manchester United’s executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward and Manchester City chief executive Ferran Soriano both on board with the rule change.

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a group of football players on a field: UEFA are set to adjust the away goals rule in European competitions from next season © Provided by Daily Mail UEFA are set to adjust the away goals rule in European competitions from next season

The report goes on to suggest that scrapping the away goals rule completely have been rejected.

UEFA will reportedly sanction the change to come into effect from the beginning of next season after the rule was scrutinised with both club competitions heavily affected by Covid-19.

The away goals rule, which was introduced for the 1965-66 campaign, came under criticism after a number of two-legged ties had to be moved to neutral venues this season as a result of strict travel regulations in certain European countries.

Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool, Tottenham and City are had to play European ties at a neutral venue at some point which saw complaints that the rule was no longer fit for purpose.

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UEFA are also pushing ahead with plans to expand the Champions League from 125 matches per season to 225 – but have faced backlash from a number of clubs.

a vase sitting on a table: The new regulations will reportedly see away goals scrapped in extra time in both the Champions League and Europa League competitions © Provided by Daily Mail The new regulations will reportedly see away goals scrapped in extra time in both the Champions League and Europa League competitions

UEFA has been in discussions for months with clubs, leagues and football associations, but won’t want to allow a vote on the Champions League reforms unless it is confident they will be approved.

The plans include enlarging the Champions League from 32 to 36 teams, increasing the number of matches by 100, and giving preferential access to the continent's biggest clubs from 2024.

UEFA has received objections from the FA, Premier League, as well as associations, leagues and small and medium-sized clubs across Europe.

The governing body has been trying to balance competing interests after months of discussion and wanted broad agreement at its executive committee, but it lost confidence in forcing the vote through last month.

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The European Leagues, led by the influential Lars-Christer Olsson, have led the opposition and taken a hard line on the proposals.

Aleksander Čeferin wearing a suit and tie: The amended rule is set to be introduced from the beginning of next season by UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin © Provided by Daily Mail The amended rule is set to be introduced from the beginning of next season by UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin

They have been a critic of increasing the number of matches in the group phase to 10 and the allocation of the four extra places in the competition.

The Leagues want extra places to go to new league winners, not to be recycled among the strongest leagues and clubs.

Following the decision to postpone a vote on the reformed Champions League last month, UEFA said in a statement: 'The future of club competitions post-2024 will be one of the topics discussed. However, any official decision in this respect will only be made at the next UEFA Executive Committee meeting on 19 April, in order to finalise ongoing discussions.'

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