Van Persie could've died: Ferguson

Published: Dec 25, 2012, 09:22 IST | PA Sport |

United manager wants Swansea defender Ashley Williams banned over the van Persie incident

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has demanded the FA take action against Ashley Williams after claiming the Swansea defender “could have killed” Robin van Persie during the 1-1 draw at the Liberty Stadium.

Van Persie was struck in the back of the head from close range by a Williams clearance after being fouled by Nathan Dyer on the edge of the Swansea box in the 75th minute.

Losing their head: Robin Van Persie (2nd from right) squares up to Ashley Williams (3nd from right)  as teammates try to intervene. Pic/Getty Images

Williams did not appear to be trying to strike Van Persie, although the whistle had gone. He insisted he had not acted maliciously.

The Dutchman reacted angrily, sparking a melee which resulted in both players being booked by the referee.

Ferguson launched a furious attack on Williams, accusing the centre-half of deliberately trying to hurt Van Persie, and suggested the striker could have suffered a broken neck.

“(In) the Van Persie situation, you can clearly see that he could have been killed,” Ferguson told Sky Sports News.

“The FA has got to look into it regardless that he has been given a yellow card. He should be banned for a long time because that was the most dangerous thing I’ve seen on a football field for many years.

“It was absolutely deliberate. The whistle has gone, the game has stopped and he has done that right in front of the referee, he could have killed the lad,” he thundered.

He added to BBC Sport: “Robin van Persie is lucky to be alive. It was a disgraceful act from their player. He should be banned by the FA. Robin could have had a broken neck.”

However, it is believed the FA will not instigate disciplinary procedures against the 18-year-old.
Swansea manager Michael Laudrup said: “I did not see it at the time as there were a lot of players involved, but I saw it afterwards. I don’t think he (Ferguson) meant literally killing him.

Premier League managers come to defender’s defence
In the aftermath of the Robin van Persie incident, Wigan manager Roberto Martinez came out in defence of defender Ashley Williams.

Martinez, who signed Williams for Swansea when he was the manager there, said, “You see the incident and it is a very, very dangerous situation. I signed Ashley for Swansea and I know his character inside out. I can guarantee you without even looking at the incident that he is not a nasty footballer,” Martinez said.

Meanwhile, QPR boss Harry Redknapp said, “I don’t see how he was going to be killed.

He kicked the ball at him. I have seen worse things on a football pitch.”

Newcastle boss Alan Pardew said he understood Ferguson’s reaction but added: “I think the one with Van Persie was perhaps not as bad as Alex at first imagined. Sometimes from the sideline, it looks a lot worse at the time. ” 

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