Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has said Robin van Persie "could have been killed" after accusing Swansea captain Ashley Williams of deliberately kicking a ball at the striker's head from close range in Sunday's Barclays Premier League game at the Liberty Stadium.
With Van Persie falling to the ground after he was fouled on the edge of the area, Williams cleared the ball into the back of the Dutchman's head from close range. Van Persie reacted angrily and squared up to Williams with referee Michael Oliver electing to book both players.
"The Van Persie situation you can clearly see that he could have been killed," Ferguson said on 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."
He added: "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."
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."
Williams insisted he had not acted maliciously.
Quoted in the Daily Telegraph, the Wales captain told Sky Sports: "It's his opinion, he's entitled to it. I understand why Van Persie was angry. I've kicked the ball away in frustration, but I wasn't trying to hit him in the head.
"I tried to say sorry, but he wasn't having it. I haven't spoken to him since the game and I didn't shake hands afterwards - but only because I didn't see him. As far as I'm concerned it's no big deal.
"If I had tried to hit him on the head deliberately, I would have missed!
"It's not like I'm going to shoot and hit him square in the head like that."