Manchester United captain Harry Maguire has been withdrawn by manager Gareth Southgate from the England squad to face Iceland and Denmark next month.
The 27-year-old defender has been given a suspended prison sentence on the Greek island of Syros following a high-profile brawl outside a bar in Mykonos last Thursday night. He was found guilty of aggravated assault, resisting arrest, and repeated attempts of bribery.
Maguire’s trial was dramatic and began with a police prosecution witness alleging that the footballer had said, “Do you know who I am? I am very rich, I can give you money,” as he pleaded to be set free.
Southgate commented that withdrawing Maguire was “in the best interest of all parties”.
Maguire has a prison sentence of 21 months and 10 ten days, which is suspended for three years on the account of the charges being misdemeanours and the court’s acknowledgement of his clear criminal record. His two co-defendants, which included his footballer brother Joe, were handed 13-month suspended sentences.
Following the verdict, Maguire said: “I have instructed my legal team with immediate effect to inform the courts that we will be appealing. I remain strong and confident regarding our innocence in this matter – if anything myself, family and friends are the victims.”
On the 20th August, Maguire was out for dinner with his finance and three other couples and had hired a minibus to take them back to their accommodation. His story is that his sister, Daisy, was then approached by two men, one of whom injected her with something that caused her to faint.
When naming his squad for the Nations League games next month, Southgate revealed that he had spoken to Maguire and had “no reason to doubt what he’s telling me”.
“Harry regrets the fact he has brought that sort of focus and attention to the team – he apologised for that – but also has his side of the story.”