ZURICH: The away goals rule may no longer be valid in modern fiootball according to the FIFA president Sepp Blatter writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
The system was introduced into the knockout stages of the European club competitions in 1965 to try to end the tactical straitjacket which saw away teams mass in defence whie planning to take advantage of home advantage.
Hence it was decided that goals scored in away matches should count double to try to encourage visiting teams to play more positively.
Blatter, in a colum in the world federation’s ‘house magazine’ FIFA Weekly, said: “The idea dates back to a time when away games were often an adventure, involving journeys that could be long and arduous – and the playing conditions would vary considerably.
“In reality it favours the club that play away from home in the second leg. Where the scores are tied, that team has 30 minutes more than their opponent to score a valuable away goal. After all, in the first leg there is no extra time.”
After reviewing the varied use of the system around the world, Blatter added: “Either way, it is time to rethink the system. Football has progressed since the 1960s, so the away goals rule may now be questioned.”