Harry Maguire withdrawn from England squad after he was found guilty of assault in Greece

Defender given suspended sentence for assault, resisting arrest and offering bribes but says he will appeal against verdict

Harry Maguire had been named in Gareth Southgate’s England squad for next month’s Nations League games against Iceland and Denmark. PA
Harry Maguire had been named in Gareth Southgate’s England squad for next month’s Nations League games against Iceland and Denmark. PA

Manchester United captain Harry Maguire has been withdrawn from England's squad for next month's Nations League matches after being convicted in a Greek court of aggravated assault, resisting arrest and repeated attempts at bribery.

The defender was originally named for the national squad for September games.

But later on Tuesday, Maquire, 27, was given a suspended sentence of 21 months and 10 days.

He immediately said he would appeal against the verdict and was confident he would be proved innocent.

The charges arose from an incident on the Greek island of Mykonos.

Police say the England defender tried to pay them off after being arrested by saying: “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.”

Maguire, his brother Joe and a friend denied claims they had assaulted three officers but were found guilty by three judges of “physical harm, revilement against three or four police, resisting arrest and multiple attempted bribery".

“I have instructed my legal team with immediate effect to inform the courts we will be appealing," Maguire said.

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

United provided a supportive statement, noting Maguire’s lawyers had been denied in their request to adjourn the trial.

But manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is faced with a decision on whether to strip Maguire of the captaincy he was given in January, five months after becoming the world’s most expensive defender when he moved to Old Trafford for £80 million (Dh385.6m).

Maguire was called up to the England squad earlier on Tuesday, before the verdict from Syros was announced.

England manager Gareth Southgate had previously given the defender his support.

But on Tuesday Southgate said: "In light of this evening's developments, I can confirm I have withdrawn Harry Maguire from the England squad for the matches against Iceland and Denmark.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

Maguire had apologised to Southgate for the negative publicity he brought on the England team but the manager said the centre-back’s version of events was very different to how they were portrayed.

Southgate had given Maguire the benefit of the doubt as he named him in a 24-man squad, which included first call-ups for Phil Foden, Mason Greenwood and Kalvin Phillips, to face Iceland and Denmark in the Nations League next month.

Phillips received his first England call-up before making his Premier League debut but Southgate highlighted the impact of Marcelo Bielsa’s management at Leeds and his continuing search for a holding midfielder.

He called a surprised Phillips on Tuesday morning.

“Kalvin is a player who we have been very impressed in the particular role he plays at Leeds," Southgate said.

"It is extremely well coached. It is a position we need competition for places in.”

Foden and Greenwood were rewarded for their summer form, with the City midfielder scoring five goals in June and July and the 18-year-old United forward taking his tally to 17 goals in his debut season.

“They have both have been excellent in the period post-lockdown,” Southgate said.

“They played big matches and made a big impact. They have the potential to be England internationals for a long time to come. That is up to them.”

He did not name a specialist left-back in his squad with Ben Chilwell injured, but Kyle Walker was recalled as one of three right-backs while his City teammate John Stones was dropped.

Jordan Henderson, Ross Barkley and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain were also ruled out while Southgate omitted Dele Alli, James Maddison and Jack Grealish.

There were also recalls for the Southampton pair of Danny Ings and James Ward-Prowse.

Updated: August 26, 2020 07:31 PM

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