UK Politics

Harry Maguire removed from England squad after assault conviction in Greece

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Harry Maguire has been removed from the England squad after he was given a suspended prison sentence in Greece.

The 27-year-old defender was found guilty of aggravated assault, resisting arrest and repeated bribery attempts by a court on the island of Syros on Tuesday.

He was handed a jail term of 21 months and 10 days, but it will be suspended because it was a first offence and the charges were classed as misdemeanours.

Harry Maguire found guilty

Maguire, who is the Manchester United captain, had been included in the England squad by manager Gareth Southgate earlier on in the day.

But Southgate decided to remove him from the team following the convictions.

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Southgate said in a statement: "In light of this evening's developments, I can confirm I have withdrawn Harry Maguire from the England squad for the matches against Iceland and Denmark.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

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Sky News's sports correspondent, Martha Kelner, said Maguire being dropped by England is "the biggest punishment of all."

She added: "Gareth Southgate was very fulsome in his backing of Harry Maguire and said what he was hearing reported did not match up to the man he knows, but that all changed in light of this afternoon's developments."

Harry Maguire has been included in Gareth Southgate's England squad
Image: Harry Maguire has been included in Gareth Southgate's England squad

Maguire, who was not present at the trial on the island of Syros, was found guilty of assault, swearing in public, and attempting to bribe a police officer.

He was arrested with his brother and a friend after a fight broke out while he was on holiday in Mykonos over claims his sister was injected with a suspected "rape drug".

The club said in a statement Maguire "continues to strongly assert his innocence" and the trial gave his lawyers "minimal time to digest the charges and prepare".

Gareth Southgate presser
England manager Gareth Southgate earlier included Harry Maguire in the squad

They had asked the court to postpone proceedings over the incident, which happened last Thursday during a family getaway.

But the trial went ahead in the absence of all three defendants – Maguire, his brother Joe and their friend Christopher Sharman.

Speaking after the verdict, Yoannis Paradissis, the lawyer who assisted the prosecution, told Sky News the victims are still waiting for an apology and are "appalled" at the footballer trying to blame police officers.

Manchester United football team captain Harry Maguire leaves a courthouse on the Greek island of Syros, the administrative hub of the Cycladic island group that includes Mykonos on August 22, 2020. - Maguire was released from Greek police custody on August 22, 2020, TV footage showed, pending a hearing on assault charges on the neighbouring island of Mykonos. The £80 million (88 million euros) defender was arrested late on August 20, after what Greek police described as an "altercation" between two groups of British tourists on Mykonos. (Photo by EUROKINISSI / AFP) (Photo by EUROKINISSI/AFP via Getty Images)
Image: Harry Maguire pictured leaving a courthouse on the Greek island of Syros

He also rubbished the star's claims he did not know who the officers were, adding: "They were taken outside the police station, there were police vehicles, the policemen showed their police IDs.

"It's a total lie they didn't understand. They were found Read More – Source