Sir Alex Ferguson famously said that Ashley Williams could have “killed” Robin van Persie when the Swansea City defender kicked a ball at the head of the Manchester United striker from close range.
Van Persie fell to the ground and Williams, in a moment of petulance, hit the ball into his opponent’s head - sparking a furious reaction from the Dutchman.
Ferguson was just as furious in his post-match press conference. The United legend described the incident, per the Daily Mail, as “the most dangerous thing I’ve seen on a football field for many years. He could have been killed. Williams should be banned for a long time.”
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During a COTIF Tournament match between the United States and Bahrain on Monday, a similar incident occurred.
A Bahraini player produced a bad tackle on Pierre Da Silva, while his teammate then kicked the ball deliberately into the head of the New York-born forward.
Already frustrated at losing to the gulf nation, the US players reacted badly and a huge brawl ensued.
Video: Brawl in USA v Bahrain U19s match
It was no surprise that the US starlets were infuriated by the incident, which was clearly dangerous and could have caused the player some serious damage.
USA also lost the match 3-1
To rub salt into the United States’ wounds, Bahrain went on to record a 3-1 victory in Alcudia.
The US took the lead thanks to a first-half goal from Kevin Lankford, but a hat-trick from Abdulaziz Khalid secured victory for their opponents.
Neither team, however, qualified for the semi-finals.
Spain and Qatar go head-to-head later today, while Argentina play Venezuela two hours later.
How long should players be banned for deliberately kicking the ball at their opponents’ heads? Have your say by leaving a comment below.