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Gary Lineker calls on UEFA to scrap 'unfair' Champions League rule for next season

Gary Lineker calls on UEFA to scrap 'unfair' Champions League rule for next season

Lineker wants a major change to be made to the Champions League.

Gary Lineker wants UEFA to scrap an 'unfair' rule as part of sweeping changes to the Champions League for next season.

Europe's biggest continental club competition will be getting a revamp for the 2024/25 campaign, with the traditional group stage replaced by a singular group containing all 36 clubs.

Clubs will be assigned their eight opponents - up from the six games each team plays currently - via a computer-assisted draw.

Eight teams will qualify automatically for the knockout stages. Play-off matches will then be contested between the ninth and 24th-placed teams to determine the remaining eight teams in the last 16 stage.

It is the biggest change to the competition since its initial rebrand to the Champions League in 1992, with UEFA having made a number of more minor adjustments in recent years.

The most recent of those was to scrap the 'away goals' rule, meaning that any knockout tie that is level after 90 minutes in both legs will go to extra time.

Real Madrid versus Manchester City, and Arsenal versus Bayern Munich, will both need to be settled in additional time if the scores don't change, with the two ties level heading into the second leg.

But Lineker believes that, because there is a home advantage involved for one team in any additional time period, extra time should be scrapped entirely for Champions League matches from the quarter-finals onwards.

Speaking on 'The Rest is Football' podcast, the England legend argued: "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.

"The last 16 [is fine], because they earn that place playing the second game at home because of where you finish in the group. But in the quarter-finals, that is not the case.

"For example, if Arsenal go to the Allianz Arena next week and draw, then it goes to extra time and Bayern Munich get an extra half hour at home. It doesn't seem fair to me.

"I think it's time to get rid of extra time. With the exception, possibly, of a final.

"But 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 a penalty shootout."

Featured Image Credit: Getty / The Rest is Football

Topics: Gary Lineker, UEFA, Champions League, Football, Arsenal, Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, Manchester City