Italian journalist Fabrizio Biasin believes that the fact that the away goals rule continues to be in force in the Coppa Italia reflects poorly on the ability of Italian football to modernize.
Writing in his column for Italian news outlet TuttoMercatoWeb, Biasin looks at the existence of the away goals rule in the competition ahead of this evening’s clash between Inter and AC Milan as evidence of being “stuck in the middle ages.”
This season UEFA scrapped the away goals rule from all continental knockout competitions, but the Coppa Italia did not follow suit.
Next season there will be no more away goals rule for the two-legged semi-final tie, but for one more season it continues to play a role.
This could potentially become highly significant given that Inter and Milan played out a goalless draw in the first leg of their semi-final tie, and the Rossoneri will have “away” goals so that they can progress to the final with a scoring draw this evening.
This could also become a factor in tomorrow evening’s second leg clash between Juventus and Fiorentina, and for Biasin the entire thing looks somewhat absurd.
“Today we have the return legs of semi-finals of Coppa Italia, the first one tonight at San Siro, the second tomorrow in Turin,” he writes.
“Away goals are still valid in the Italian Cup,” he continues. “We already wrote about it at the time: it’s not normal.”
He adds that “They tell us, ‘They couldn’t change the rules once the competition started,’ but as far as we are concerned this is not a justification.”
Biasin calls it “A matter of common sense the round trip is an factor only in the semi-finals, it would have been much more logical to bring the Coppa up to standard with the rest of continental competitions.”
“We’re in the ‘middle ages,'” he goes on, “and the rules will change next season. Will this create a very silly controversy? Let’s hope not, but given the result of the first legs it would be far from impossible.”