Former Premier League referee Mark Clattenburg has moved to clarify claims he made after telling a podcast that he "allowed Tottenham to self-destruct" when he refereed the 2-2 draw with Chelsea in May 2016.
The draw dashed Spurs title hopes as Leicester were crowned champions.
Clattenburg booked nine Spurs players in the bad-tempered match, but now says he could have sent off three players.
The ref told Sky Sports the only reason he didn't show red was to protect himself and avoid being blamed for Tottenham losing the title:
"Many referees decide they don't want to be the centre of attention, but if I'd have sent off three Tottenham players, the whole world would have blamed Mark Clattenburg for costing Tottenham the title.
"That's the balance that top-level officials have to try and achieve what's right for the game and the laws and that's what a lot of people don't understand.
"I can understand, after the abuse I've had today, why people don't want to become referees.
"I've taken abuse for 13 years. When you're a Premier League referee, you're not going to keep everybody happy, you're going to upset some teams.
"Referees haven't been allowed to speak for years. I want to try and educate and for people to understand.
"Yes, there's words that have been taken out of context, and I could have used different words in some places.
"But I don't regret what I did in that match. I thoroughly enjoyed the match. I came off the pitch knowing that I hadn't influenced the result, and that was the most important thing."