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United's Maguire gets suspended sentence over brawl in Greece

August 26, 2020 00:55 IST
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'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,' the witness told the bench.

Manchester United captain Harry Maguire, who was detained on the island of Mykonos, leaves a court building on the island of Syros, Greece on Saturday.

IMAGE: Manchester United captain Harry Maguire, who was detained on the island of Mykonos, leaves a court building on the island of Syros, Greece on Saturday. Photograph: Giorgos Solaris/Intimenews via Reuters

England and Manchester United defender Harry Maguire was handed a suspended sentence of 21 months and 10 days by a Greek court on Tuesday after he was found guilty of multiple charges following a brawl on the island of Mykonos last Thursday.

Court officials said he had been found guilty of repeated bodily harm, attempted bribery, violence against public employees and insult after his arrest Mykonos.

The 27-year-old England international was one of three people arrested on Thursday after an altercation with police.

 

"Following the hearing today, I have instructed my legal team with immediate effect to inform the courts we will be appealing," Maguire said in a statement.

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

Maguire was arrested, along with brother Joe and friend Christopher Sharman, on Thursday night after a brawl in which two police officers were allegedly assaulted on Mykonos.

"What the policemen, who are the victims, are still waiting for is a simple apology from a man who says that he is a champion," Ioannis Iakovos Paradisis, the lawyer who represented the police officers, told Reuters.

Joe Maguire was found guilty of repeated bodily harm, violence against public employees and attempted bribery. Sharman was found guilty of insult, repeated bodily harm and violence against public employees.

Both were sentenced to 13 months in prison, suspended for three years.

All three men had denied the charges against them.

Manchester United captain Maguire, who was released from custody over the weekend, was not present at the trial before a judge on the nearby island of Syros on Tuesday.

As the trial went ahead, England coach Gareth Southgate selected Maguire in his squad for next month's Nations League matches against Iceland and Denmark.

Maguire is being represented by Greek human rights lawyer Alexis Anagnostakis, whose request for an adjournment was rejected.

Anagnostakis told the court that two Albanian men had approached Maguire's sister Daisy - who fainted immediately after being injected with an unknown substance.

The defendants asked to be driven to a hospital, but were instead taken to a police station, he added.

A police witness for the prosecution told the court that Maguire attempted to bribe his way out of the situation.

"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," the witness told the bench.

Former Leicester City player Maguire's ill-fated trip to the popular Greek holiday island followed his club's semi-final defeat by Sevilla in the Europa League in Cologne.

Maguire has earned 26 England caps since making his debut against Lithuania in a World Cup qualifier in 2018.

United paid Leicester 80 million pounds ($105 million) - a world record fee for a defender - for Maguire in August 2019 and he was made captain at the start of this year.

"It should be noted that the prosecution confirmed the charges and provided their evidence late on the day before the trial, giving the defence team minimal time to digest them and prepare," United said in a statement.

"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."

($1 = 0.7615 pounds)

England call up Maguire despite arrest and trial in Greece

England defender Harry Maguire was called up to the Nations League squad on Tuesday despite the Manchester United captain having last week been detained by police over a brawl on the Greek island of Mykonos.

Centre back Maguire pleaded not guilty and was released from police custody after his arrest on Thursday. The 27-year-old was being represented by his lawyers in court at a hearing on Tuesday.

"It is clearly a decision that is not straightforward and a decision that I could only take on the information I have," Southgate told a news conference after selecting Maguire.

"I have spoken to Harry, I have the insight to the story which is very different to what is being reported. Clearly if facts change or information changes, I have to review that decision.

"Harry’s been an outstanding character for us. I’ve no reason to doubt what he’s telling me and it’s important he knows he’s got my support at this moment."

But the England manager said Maguire did have regrets about how the incident had affected the team.

"Harry regrets the fact he has brought that sort of focus and attention to the team -- he apologised for that -- but also has his own side of the story," added Southgate.

England captain Harry Kane is available for the Nations League matches against Iceland and Denmark next month despite currently being in quarantine following a trip to the Bahamas.

Manchester United forward Mason Greenwood, Manchester City's Phil Foden and fellow midfielder Kalvin Phillips of Leeds United will all have chance to make their international debuts.

Goalkeeper Dean Henderson, back at Manchester United after a loan spell with Sheffield United last season, also earns a call-up along with regular first-choice keeper Jordan Pickford and back-up Nick Pope.

Midfielder Jack Grealish, who helped Aston Villa retain their Premier League status last season, has not been included in the squad nor has Burnley defender James Tarkowski.

With Ben Chilwell and Luke Shaw injured, there is no recognised left back in the squad, meaning one of the right backs will have to switch sides, which Southgate conceded was "not ideal".

His England side have not played since November last year due to the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, which also forced Euro 2020 to be pushed back a year.

England face Iceland on Sept. 5 in Reykjavik before taking on Denmark in Copenhagen on Sept. 8.

Squad:

Goalkeepers: Dean Henderson, Jordan Pickford, Nick Pope

Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold, Eric Dier, Joe Gomez, Michael Keane, Harry Maguire, Tyrone Mings, Kieran Trippier, Kyle Walker

Midfielders: Phil Foden, Mason Mount, Kalvin Phillips, Declan Rice, James Ward-Prowse, Harry Winks

Forwards: Tammy Abraham, Mason Greenwood, Danny Ings, Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho, Raheem Sterling

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