Harry Maguire dropped from England squad following assault charge

25 August 2020, 17:24

Harry Maguire has been found guilty of assault
Harry Maguire has been found guilty of assault. Picture: PA

By Kate Buck

Harry Maguire has been dropped from the England Squad after being found guilty of aggravated assault, resisting arrest, and repeated attempts of bribery in Greece.

Maguire was given a suspended prison sentence of 21 months and 10 days following a trial in Greece earlier today, although his legal team have said they will appeal the verdict.

Despite England manager Gareth Southgate earlier announcing Maguire would be part of the England Squad, he later announced his decision to withdraw the centre-back for the upcoming matches against Iceland and Denmark.

Southgate said in a statement: "In light of this evening's developments, I can confirm I have withdrawn Harry Maguire from the England squad for the matches against Iceland and Denmark.

"As I said earlier today, I reserved the right to review the situation. Having spoken to Manchester United and the player, I have made this decision in the best interests of all parties and with consideration of the impact on our preparations for next week."

The Manchester United player was arrested on Thursday evening along with two other Britons following an incident in Mykonos.

He has been found guilty of attempting to bribe a police officer after being taken into custody following a brawl, allegedly saying "I can pay you".

In a statement following the verdict, he insisted he was the "victim" in the case.

He added: "Following the hearing today, I have instructed my legal team with immediate effect to inform the courts we will be appealing.

"I remain strong and confident regarding our innocence in this matter - if anything myself, family and friends are the victims."

The 27-year-old centre-back was on holiday in Greece after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side lost to eventual Europa League winners Sevilla in last Sunday's semi-final in Cologne.

He was arrested alongside his brother Joe and their friend Christopher Sharman, who were all convicted in their absence during a trial on the island of Syros today.

His lawyers had hoped to postpone the trial after arguing they were given insufficient time to prepare, however they were unable to force its delay.

Harry Maguire's legal team will appeal the verdict
Harry Maguire's legal team will appeal the verdict. Picture: PA

In a statement, Manchester United said: "Manchester United notes the verdict of the Greek court today.

"Harry Maguire pleaded not guilty to all of the misdemeanour charges made against him and he continues to strongly assert his innocence.

"It should be noted that the prosecution confirmed the charges and provided their evidence late on the day before the trial, giving the defence team minimal time to digest them and prepare.

"A request for the case to be adjourned was subsequently denied.

"On this basis, along with the substantial body of evidence refuting the charges, Harry Maguire's legal team will now appeal the verdict, to allow a full and fair hearing at a later date."

Maguire had denied all charges against him, and claims a fight broke out after his sister was injected with a suspected "date rape" drug.

The prosecution claimed the world's most expensive defender said to officers: "Do you know who I am? I am the captain of Manchester United, I am very rich, I can give you money, I can pay you, please let us go."

During the fight, plain clothes police officers allegedly tried to intervene to calm the situation. However, the "English men" would not abate, with one saying "f***, f*** the police" before an officer was punched, it was claimed.

Maguire's lawyer Alexis Anagnostakis told the court that two Albanian men approached Maguire's sister Daisy - who fainted immediately after being injected with an unknown substance.

Mr Anagnostakis said the group called for transport and asked to be driven to a hospital, but were instead taken to a police station

The court heard that when they arrived, the international footballer was kicked in the leg by police officers who told him: "Your career is over."