ROME: European federation UEFA wants its referees not to feel under pressure to use of VAR in the Champions League knockout stage which starts next week.

UEFA hastened the implementation of video assistance after club pressure following its successful application at the World Cup finals in Russia last summer. Initially it had decided to wait until next season.

Controversy has accompanied VAR’s varied use in domestic competitions in Germany, Holland, France and Italy and UEFA’s refereeing chief, Italian Roberto Rosetti, does not want any confusion in the Europe’s most high-profile tournament.

Rosetti, speaking on the eve of UEFA Congress in Rome, said: “I don’t want to enter into domestic issues but I want to underline that we need to come back to the origin of the project. We need to intervene for clear and serious mistakes.

“We want clear evidence, clear images….and serious missed incidents,” he added. “The main goal is to be consistent.”

Rosetti said that for factual decisions such as offside or whether an incident was inside or outside the penalty area, a recommendation from the video assistant referee would be enough.

For incidents involving interpretation, such as fouls and handball, referees would be expected to view the incident themselves on the pitchside monitor.

He added: “VAR has to be an insurance for the referee, a parachute for the referee, so my wish is that in 31 matches, there are no interventions But, if something happens, we have to be ready.”

Rosetti also warned players that any making a TV-style gesture with their hands to match officials will be shown a yellow card for dissent.

He said: “If players make the VAR signal and if they surround the referee, there must be disciplinary action.”