Conmebol scrap away goals rule with immediate effect

November 26 – Following in the footsteps of European governing body UEFA, Conmebol will scrap the away goals rule from its competitions with the aim of introducing greater sporting ‘justice’. 

In a tweet, confederation president Alejandro Dominguez revealed the rule change, saying: “From now on, all goals in Conmebol tournaments will have the same value, the many goals converted as a visitor will no longer be considered as a tiebreaker. With this, the aim is greater sporting justice.”

The South American ruling body introduced the away goals rule in the Copa Libertadores and the Copa Sul-Americana in 2005, but three years later scrapped the rule for the finals of both competitions which since 2018 moved to single-match finals.

Conmebol didn’t specify when the rule will no longer be applicable, but the rule change will affect all its competitions.

Last June, UEFA dropped the rule with European boss Aleksander Ceferin saying that there was a preference to change the rule after its “fairness” was questioned. In European competitions, the rule was first applied in 1965 to encourage attacking football, but, in modern times, the away goals rule often felt counterproductive.

Ceferin said: “However, the question of its abolition has been debated at various UEFA meetings over the last few years. Although there was no unanimity of views, many coaches, fans and other football stakeholders have questioned its fairness and have expressed a preference for the rule to be abolished.”

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