Away from home, a goal gets you home: the big debate on the away goal rule in European competition

Today (Wednesday) UEFA are set to meet to discuss a potential abolition of the away goal rule in European competition. This debate is set to be one, like VAR, to divide football fans. On the one hand, it can make ties interesting. On the other, it could ‘ruin’ games a bit premature. Here, Adagunodo Olumuyiwa looks at the debate, and gives his view… 

European competitions are famed for lots of goals and a constant swing in dynamics right throughout the knockout stages, up until the final minute of the grand final – Manchester United fans would agree with me. A reason for there being a great deal of goals may be attributed partly to the quality of players and football on show on the night. Yet, another reason may be the presence of UEFA’s away goal rule.

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Inside Bloomfield Road: what’s happening with the Blackpool boycotts?

By Joe Davies

It is a rare thing in football that an away support outnumbers the home fans in a stadium. As I failed to establish the chant ‘Woah Lacazette-y, Aubameyang’ (to the tune of Black Betty), it occurred to me that without a home chorus to contend with the incentive for away fans to stand up and sing is dampened somewhat. While Gooners have been criticised for their lack of home atmosphere since the ‘Highbury Library’ days, you really could hear your own voice echo as Arsenal beat Blackpool 3-0 at Bloomfield Road. The magic of the FA Cup this was not.

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What is the Asian Cup and should we care about it more?

By Andrew Misra

The Asian Cup rolls around this January and it’s something that, generally speaking, we know very little about in the UK. As with the Africa Cup of Nations, we’ve only really become aware of it due to the competition depriving us of high-profile players from the Premier League for about a month.

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Defining the ‘football hipster’: what are they, are they a bad thing, and are you one?

Neil Custis, the most reliably trusted and clued up journalist in the UK media sphere, replied to a tweet about the time of the Superclásico between Boca Juniors and River Plate in the Copa Libertadores final, asking: “Is that hipster time or GMT?” That was just one of many tweets that come up if you run a quick Twitter search of ‘@ncustisTheSun: hipster’.

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Lionesses can extend football fever in England

By Kathryn Batte

If you want to pinpoint the moment Women’s Football really took off in this country then 2005 is a good starting point. England hosted the Women’s European Championships for the first time and back then only two groups of four teams competed in the tournament, which Germany won for the fourth time in a row. England qualified automatically as hosts but finished bottom of their group, winning just one game. The final was played at Blackburn’s Ewood Park and attracted a crowd of 21,100 people, a record for a woman’s match in Europe. Had England made the final that figure would probably have been higher with over 29,000 spectators watching the hosts beat Finland 3-2 at the City of Manchester Stadium in the first game of the tournament.

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Ballon d’Or: treasured more in South America than Europe?

By Andrew Misra

“Gooooooooooaaaaaallllll”. Not just the introduction to Alan Partridge’s 1994 World Cup Countdown, but a shortened version of a noise regularly heard on South American television, radio and inside bars. Colombian commentator Javier Fernandez Franco, tunefully nicknamed the “Goal Singer”, unleashed a 37-second outcry of this after Carlos Bacca scored in the 2016 Copa America third-place playoff. Bacca’s effort wasn’t extraordinary either, rather it was scruffily turned in, bouncing over the line.

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