The recent decision by UEFA to remove the away goals rule from all its competitions has sparked discussions for CAF to consider a similar move in African football. This comes after several clubs were eliminated from the quarter-finals of both the Champions League and Confederation Cup on the away goals rule this season. The impact of the away goals rule was particularly evident in a recent CAFCL semi-final match between Mamelodi Sundowns and Esperance, where Sundowns needed three goals instead of two to progress due to a goal scored against the run of play by Esperance.

Morgan Gould, assistant coach of Sekhukhune United, shared his personal encounter with the away goals rule during the Confederation Cup final in 2017 when playing for SuperSport United. Gould expressed his disappointment over the rule and its impact on the outcome of the final, emphasizing its significance in continental competitions. Despite the ongoing debate and controversy surrounding the away goals rule, CAF has shown no clear intention to discard it, leaving the discussion open and the rule still in place on the African continent.

This has led to concerns about the impact of the rule on the style of play, with some suggesting that it leads to clubs being cagey and afraid to attack, resulting in less open matches. While the away goals rule was historically influenced by the difficulty of traveling across the continent for away fixtures, modern transportation facilities have reduced the disparity between home and away matches. Yet, the rule remains in place in Africa, prompting further discussions about its relevance in contemporary football.

In the face of the ongoing debate, some coaches and players have highlighted the importance of the away goals rule as a motivating factor and as a strategic consideration in continental competitions. However, the UEFA’s decision to remove the rule has brought the topic to the forefront of discussions within African football.

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