London, Jul 14: Lashing out at his critics, English referee Howard Webb has made it clear that he does not regret the way he handed the FIFA World Cup 2010 finals between Spain and Netherlands on Sunday, Jul 11.
"It was one of the toughest games my assistants and I will ever be involved in. We feel we worked hard to keep the focus on the football as much as possible. Whatever the match, you always hope the officials won"t need to be heavily involved," Webb is quoted as saying in The Sun.
"However, we had to raise our profile just to keep control. From early on in the match we had to make decisions that were clear yellow cards. We tried to apply some common-sense given the magnitude of the occasion," he added.
The 39-year-old Englishman broke past records by giving out 14 yellow cards in the World Cup finals, which was marred by fouls. He also dismissed Dutch defender Johnny Heitinga.
Following the match, the referee was booed by the crowd when he went to receive his medal. And soon heavy criticism on the way he handled the match poured in from different spheres.
"We advised players early on for some of their tackling, sent players away when they were surrounding the officials and spoke to their senior colleagues to try and calm them down," Webb said.
"We did a tough job in difficult circumstances to the best of our abilities. It would have been an extremely challenging match for any referee," he added.