Manchester United defender Harry Maguire was handed a 21-month suspended sentence on Tuesday after he was arrested and found guilty of assault by a court in Greece. He was arrested for being involved in a brawl last week while holidaying in the island of Mykonos.
Maguire had pleaded not guilty after spending two nights in police custody following his arrest. Two other defendants, including Maguire’s brother Joe, were also found guilty and handed 13-month sentences.
The English footballer, who was found guilty of assault, swearing in public, and attempting to bribe a police officer, said that he will appeal.
“I remain strong and confident regarding our innocence in this matter,” Maguire said. “If anything, myself, family, and friends are the victims.”
In light of the developments, Maguire has been withdrawn from the England squad for their Nations League matches against Iceland and Denmark next month following the verdict.
“I can confirm I have withdrawn Harry Maguire from the England squad for the matches against Iceland and Denmark,” England manager Gareth Southgate was quoted as saying.
“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,” Southgate said on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Manchester United issued a statement supporting the defender.
“It should be noted that the prosecution confirmed the charges and provided their evidence late on the day before the trial, giving the defense 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.”
(With inputs from agencies)