FIFA to drop golden goal in Champions League and UEFA Cup finals

NYON (Switzerland): UEFA are introducing a 'silver goal' rule for next month's Champions League and UEFA Cup finals, scrapping the 'golden goal' rule in extra time. 

Whereas a 'golden goal' immediately ended a match which had been deadlocked after 90 minutes, the new rule stipulates that play should continue until the end of the half in which an extra-time goal was scored. 

If the match remains a draw after both halves of 15 minutes, it will be decided by a penalty shoot-out. 

The move is seen as being fairer, as it gives teams a chance to make up for conceding a goal, and should also ease problems of policing and security at the stadium. 

UEFA believe it will also ease some of the pressure on the match referee and avoid some of the negative football created by the Golden Goal rule, where teams are usually more concerned with defending than attacking. 

UEFA spokesman Mike Lee said: “It will be an innovation at this year's finals, first at the UEFA Cup final in Seville, then in Manchester for the Champions League final. 

“After that, we will use it to decide all our matches where it's needed in all our competitions. 

“At the moment there are many models in use throughout the world to decide finals, but we think this gives the best sporting chance to both sides and we hope that in time this innovation could be used throughout the world as the standard way of deciding matches.” 

Along with the UEFA Cup final between Celtic and Porto on May 21 and the Champions League final at Old Trafford a week later, the rule will also be used at next year's Euro Championship in Portugal. 

The past two championships have both been decided by Golden Goals – Oliver Bierhoff's for Germany against the Czech Republic at Euro 96 and David Trezeguet's for France against Italy at Euro 2000. 

Liverpool won the 2001 UEFA Cup with a Golden Goal against Spanish club Alaves – an own goal by Delfi Geli. – Reuters 

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