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'What idiot proposed this?' - Williamson on away goals rule change

7:25 PM GMT 24/06/2021
Bobby Williamson of Kenya and Harambee Stars.
The Scot believes the changes will lead to "boring" games since teams will be defending more

Bobby Williamson believes abolishing the away goal rule is a wrong move and will encourage clubs to defend more, especially away from home.

On June 24, Uefa confirmed the away goals rule will be abolished from European competitions, with the change being put into place in time for the 2021-22 season. 

The away goals rule has been used for over half a century but will no longer be used to decide knockout matches in Uefa club competitions, including the Champions League and Europa League.

However, the former Harambee Stars and Uganda Cranes coach believes the move will lead to "boring" matches.

"The changes will encourage clubs to defend even more away from home, even more than they are doing now. What idiot proposed this?" Williamson posed the question to Goal on Thursday.

"Away goals were to encourage teams to attack and get a goal away from home. Now that they have scrapped it, it will lead to boring games.

"That the changes will make teams attack more? Seriously? Totally wrong! The away goal rule was meant to encourage the teams not to defend for 90 minutes."

An official Uefa statement confirming the news that the away goals rule would no longer be used actively highlights the fact there has been a reduction in home wins, and goals, in Uefa club competitions. 

The statement read: "Statistics from the mid-1970s until now show a clear trend of continuous reduction in the gap between the number of home/away wins (from 61%/19% to 47%/30%) and the average number of goals per match scored at home/away (from 2.02/0.95 to 1.58/1.15) in men’s competitions."

Uefa has stated that all their club competitions, including men's, women's and youth tournaments, will adopt the rule change. 

That means the Champions League, Europa League, Women's Champions League, Uefa Youth League, Uefa Super Cup and the newly-formed Europa Conference League will all be affected. 

It is unclear at this stage if the rule change will be applied to international competitions. 

For example, World Cup qualification ties have used the away goals rule, while it has also been applied in Champions League competitions in other continents including Africa.