Manchester United captain Harry Maguire has been convicted by a Greek court and sentenced to a suspended prison sentence of 21 months. This led to England manager Gareth Southgate dropping him from the national squad.
Southgate had named a 24-man squad for their Nations League games against Iceland and Denmark. The 27-year-old Maguire was selected by the Three Lions manager initially despite his trial being underway in Greece.
However, after the defender was found guilty of aggravated assault, resisting arrest and repeated attempts of bribery on the Greek island of Syros on Tuesday, Southgate decided to drop Maguire.
“In light of this evening’s developments, I can confirm I have withdrawn Harry Maguire from the England squad for the matches against Iceland and Denmark,” Southgate was quoted by the English Football Association website.
“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.”
According to a British media report, Maguire was involved in a brawl last week while on holiday in Mykonos. He spent two nights in custody after he was arrested.
Maguire, though, has continued to maintain his innocence and decided to appeal the decision. “Following the hearing today, I have instructed my legal team with immediate effect to inform the courts we will be appealing,” he said.
Manchester United have also voiced their support for their defender and said that the court gave the player’s legal team short time to prepare for the case.
“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,” read a club statement on the official website of Manchester United.
“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.”
England will travel to face Iceland on September 5 before heading to Copenhagen to face Denmark on September 8.