Incoming International Cricket Council president David Morgan says he would have let Darrell Hair continue umpiring after the 2006 Oval Test controversy.
Umpires Billy Doctrove and Darrell Hair examine the ball
Hair was dropped from the elite umpires list after the match when Pakistan were penalised for ball-tampering.
Morgan was speaking at an employment tribunal brought by Hair, who claims racial discrimination because co-umpire Billy Doctrove was not also dropped.
Morgan said he felt Hair had applied the rules correctly.
He added that he felt Hair was technically a very good umpire.
Although he was a member of the board that decided to remove Hair, Morgan said he did not agree with the decision but was in the minority.
Morgan felt Hair had lost the confidence of the board but he said that Hair's race was not mentioned at any point.
It was his primary responsibility as an umpire to take all action necessary to prevent damage being caused to the game's reputation
Acting ICC president Ray Mali
Acting ICC president Ray Mali had earlier told the tribunal there was no reason why Hair should not return to top-level umpiring, although he did not specify when, and was critical of his conduct in the notorious match.
He said he regarded Hair as one of the world's top umpires but was "very unimpressed" with his behaviour.
"He should have done everything within his powers to ensure that the Test match resumed," he said.
"It was his primary responsibility as an umpire to take all action necessary to prevent damage being caused to the game's reputation."
He said he supported the Pakistan Cricket Board's call for an inquiry.
"I thought that if we let Darrell continue umpiring, we would expose the ICC to the risk of the same thing happening again."