Football: Blatter calls for end to away goals rule

Fifa president Sepp Blatter on Friday called for an end to the away goals winner rule in clashes with two matches. -- PHOTO: AFP
Fifa president Sepp Blatter on Friday called for an end to the away goals winner rule in clashes with two matches. -- PHOTO: AFP

ZURICH (AFP) - Fifa president Sepp Blatter on Friday called for an end to the away goals winner rule in clashes with two matches.

Blatter said the rule favours clubs who play away in the second leg because extra time can give an extra opportunity to get a goal with double value.

"It is time to rethink the system," Blatter said in a column for the Fifa publication The Week.

Away goals are notably used in the Champions League knockout stages and other European club competitions where it was introduced in 1965.

Where two sides are level after two legs, the team which has scored more goals away from home go through.

"The idea dates back to a time when away games were often an adventure, involving journeys that could be long and arduous," said the 78-year-old Fifa leader.

"As well established as the rule is, it can be viewed critically today," because it favours the team playing away in the second leg."

The system is no longer used in the semi-finals of promotion play-offs in the English League. US Major League Soccer and the Concacaf Champions League in the Americas only count goals scored in the 90 minutes of regulation time.

"Football has progressed since the 1960s so the away goals rule may now be questioned," said Blatter, who did not propose an alternative.