“This Champions League Rule Should ‘Thrown Out’ Of The Competition”

Gary Lineker

The iconic ex-player of Spurs and England striker Gary Lineker has pursued for a rule to be changed in the UEFA Champions League competition.

He has asked the Champions League to scrap an ongoing rule since it gives an ‘unjustifiable’ advantage to one team in the knockout stages of the competition.

During the quarter-final first-leg games between Manchester City who drew 3-3 with Rea Madrid and Arsenal also protecting a 2-2 scoreline against Bayern Munich, he felt something wasn’t quite right about certain decisions.

Both English clubs now face the possibility of additional time in the event that the scores remains level for an additional hour and a half, but Lineker thinks the extra time ruling ought to be changed by UEFA.

The competition coordinators have made changes to the format and rules of the tournament lately in a bid to make games very engaging, having recently disposed of the away goal rule.

Nonetheless, the former England striker believes more changes are required in light of the fact that, the additional time rule implies the team hosting second-legs get 30 extra minutes playing fully backed up by their home crowd behind them.

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Lineker reason is that, teams that have the second-leg of knockout games are supported by playing for an additional 30 minutes in front home support.

‘I campaigned for years to get rid of the away goals rule and when it came to fruition a couple of years ago I got a lot of stick from people because I was kind of saying “this is good for the game”.

‘The only other thing to get rid of now and this again is purely because of fairness, I think you shouldn’t have extra-time if the scores are level after two games. I think you should go to penalties.

‘At the moment that gives the home side in the second-leg an extra half-hour at home which is an advantage and no team should have an advantage certainly in the quarter-final stages of the Champions League,’ Lineker said on The Rest Is Football podcast.

‘The last-16 because they earn that place playing the second game at home because of where you finish in the group but in the quarters that’s not the case”.

‘For example if Arsenal go to the Allianz next week and draw then it goes to extra time and Bayern Munich get an extra half-hour at home. Doesn’t seem fair to me,’ said Lineker.

Bayern Munich could be given an advantage in extra time when they host Arsenal in the second-leg of their quarter-final clash, should the aggregate score be level after 90 minutes

The drawing of the last-eight teams in the competition means it is total luck to see what team is drawn to play the second-leg at home rather than based off qualifying measures in round-of-16 games.

Arsenal face the daunting prospect of trying to get a result at Bayern Munich’s home next week, while Pep Guardiola’s Man City can look to use their home advantage to find a way past Real Madrid.

Lineker’s co-host and legendary Premier League striker Alan Shearer agrees the rule needs changing, adding: ‘I would say that across the board in terms of extra time.’

The BBC Match of the Day host then claimed going straight to penalties is a better option, stating:

‘I think it’s time to get rid of it with the exception possibly of a final. Even then I wouldn’t because once it gets to extra time, everyone just wants it to go to penalties anyway don’t they. Everyone loves watching a penalty shootout.’

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