Some of Europe’s highest-profile club coaches, including José Mourinho, have called upon Uefa to review the use of the away goals rule in continental competitions because scoring away from home is not as difficult as it used to be.

They also want the transfer window to end at the same time in all the region’s major leagues.

Uefa’s deputy general secretary Giorgio Marchetti confirmed that the European soccer body would “open a discussion” on the use of the rule which is used to determine the winners of knockout ties when the aggregate score is level.

Along with Manchester United manager Mourinho, the annual meeting included Massimiliano Allegri (Juventus), Carlo Ancelotti (Napoli), Unai Emery (Arsenal), Paulo Fonseca (Shakhtar Donetsk), Julen Lopetegui (Real Madrid), Thomas Tuchel (Paris Saint-Germain) and former Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger.

“The coaches think that scoring goals away is not as difficult as it was in the past… so they think the rule should be reviewed and that’s what we will do,” Marchetti told reporters.

“They consider the situation in football has changed and the weight of the away goals is not the same as many years ago when the rule was introduced.”

The rule was first introduced in the former European Cup Winners’ Cup competition in 1965 as an alternative to tossing a coin or staging a replay on a neutral ground.

At the time, playing away in Europe was a huge challenge which involved difficult travel and intimidating, unfamiliar conditions abroad, a far cry from today where it is considered routine.

Marchetti said the coaches felt the rule was also counter-productive and that, as much as encouraging away teams to attack, it induced home teams to defend to avoid conceding a costly goal. “This is one of the points that needs to be looked at,” he said.

On the transfer window, he said the coaches wanted more countries to follow the example of England and Italy and close them before the start of the season.

The transfer windows in England and Italy were changed this year in response to complaints last year that they had overshadowed the action on the pitch and made it difficult for coaches to plan.

Blogger/Football Analyst at Sportskick
Michael Okoye is an ardent football fan as well as a writer. He lives somewhere in West Africa with Lions and Leopards for company. He takes interest in football and detests mediocrity in sports writing. He has a massive man crush on Juan Mata. A Chelsea fan and a great lover of wits and sarcasm.
 on Email on Facebook

Leave a comment