The English official has come in for criticism from some quarters, notably from some Dutch players, over his handling of Sunday’s final, one of the dirtiest in the history of the World Cup.
He handed out a record 14 yellow cards and sent off Holland’s Everton defender John Heitinga during Spain’s fractious 1-0 win.
The Yorkshireman arrived home from South Africa with his assistants Darren Cann and Michael Mullarkey to a barrage of media interest in their performance at Soccer City in Johannesburg.
In a statement released through the Premier League he said: “Whatever the match, you always hope that the officials won’t need to be heavily involved. However, we had to raise our profile in order to keep control.
“We don’t feel that we had much choice except to manage the game in the way we did. We came away feeling satisfied that we’d done a tough job in difficult circumstances to the best of our abilities.
“It was an extremely challenging match to handle, but it would have been so for any referee. It is one of the toughest games we will ever be involved in and we feel that we worked hard to keep the focus on the football as much as possible.”
The leaders mourned the passing of Sheikh Isa bin Mubarak bin Hamad bin Sabah Al Khalifa