What will Sir Alex say Swansea skipper Williams will NOT be charged over RVP kickFA won't take any action against WilliamsFergie fumed Van Persie 'could have been killed'Man United boss will not face disrepute charge over his comments
11:17 GMT, 24 December 2012
Should Williams be banned for his kick at Van Persie
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The FA have confirmed they will NOT be charging Swansea City defender Ashley Williams for his ugly clash with Robin van Persie at the Liberty Stadium on Sunday.
Sir Alex Ferguson called for Williams to be handed a lengthy suspension for slamming the ball into the back of Van Persie’s head from point-blank range when the United striker was lying on the floor after a 74th-minute foul.
Ferguson, speaking after United were held 1-1, went on to claim the incident ‘could have killed’ Van Persie, but the FA confirmed to Sportsmail that no action will be taken against Williams as he was booked at the time by referee Michael Oliver.
Lashing out: Floored Manchester United striker Robin van Persie feels the force of Ashley Willaims' kick
Ref rage: An angry Sir Alex Ferguson complains to fourth official Lee Probert after the incident
It is the policy of the FA not to ‘re-referee’ incidents that have been seen by the match officials.
The FA also said it was ‘highly unlikely’ that Ferguson will be handed a disrepute charge for his comments on the matter.
The United manager had said: ‘The Van Persie situation you can clearly see that he could have been killed.
‘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.
Seeing red: Van Persie leaps up to retaliate with Williams after the incident
Head-to-head: A furious Van Persie leaps up to vent his rage to Williams after the incident
Pulled apart: The pair had to be separated by their team-mates
So, was RVP at risk
Former Premier League referee
Sir Alex Ferguson’s reaction to Ashley Williams kicking the ball that hit Robin van Persie in the 76th minute sounded a little over the top, but Williams could well have been sent off rather than cautioned by referee Michael Oliver.
If, in the opinion of the referee, the ball was deliberately kicked at an opponent and used like a weapon, then he should have been sent off for violent conduct. As it was reasonable for Williams’s actions to be seen as natural in clearing a loose ball from his own penalty area, it was almost impossible for Oliver to determine with any degree of certainty what his intentions were – and so a caution was the sensible decision.
Former Premier League physio
It's unlikely that being hit by the ball could have killed Van Persie. But being struck that hard from such a short distance could have knocked him out. I’ve seen players knocked out by free-kicks struck from 10 yards away.
If you are unconscious, there is then a risk of trauma to the brain. A blow that fierce is like being hit in boxing – the damage is unpredictable. It can lead to internal bleeding and permanent damage, or there can be just an aching head.
‘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.
‘It was a disgraceful act by the player, he should banned for a long time.’
Williams played down the incident,
saying: ‘I tried to clear the ball, (but) it hit him on the head. I was
trying to clear the ball. He was obviously a bit angry about that.
‘It was a much ado about nothing.’
He added: ‘I tried to apologise but
there wasn't much time. I didn't see him afterwards. Obviously I would
shake his hand but it is no big deal.
'I just lashed at the ball and I
understand why he is angry but it is not like I am going to shoot and
hit him square on the head.’
The ugly scenes detracted from a thrilling draw. Patrice Evra had put
United ahead after 16 minutes but Michu hit back for Swansea with his
13th Barclays Premier League strike 13 minutes later. United twice hit
the frame of the goal as they tried and failed to restore their
six-point lead over Manchester City at the top of the table.
Wigan manager Roberto Martinez, meanwhile, says Ashley Williams is 'not a nasty footballer'.
He said: 'You see the incident and it is a very, very dangerous situation'.
'If you see one of your players with a bang on the back of the head it is really dangerous and it can have bad consequences. You can understand that.
In the book: Referee Michael Oliver booked Williams but Ferguson is calling for the defender to be banned, while Van Persie also received a yellow card for his part in the bust-up
'I signed Ashley Williams 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.
'He is a winner and fully committed, a
leader and a captain, and I don't for one second doubt that he did not
do that on purpose.
'It is an action of the game. He can
show frustration – it is an emotional game and it is very unfortunate
that it hits Van Persie in a part of the body where he could have been
hurt heavily, and you don't want to see that.
'But from my point of view, I know
Ashley Williams really well – when you sign a player you find out about a
player and I can guarantee you he is not the type of footballer who
would do that on purpose.'
QPR boss Harry Redknapp, speaking ahead of his side's Boxing Day clash with West Bromwich Albion, said of the Williams incident: '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.'