Manchester United defender Harry Maguire has been withdrawn from the England squad for the upcoming two UEFA Nations League games in September after being found guilty of three charges by a Greek court.
On Tuesday, Gareth Southgate 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 Manchester United captain 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 from the squad, reports Xinhua news agency.
“In light of this evening’s developments, I can confirm I have withdrawn Harry Maguire from the England squad for the matches against Iceland and Denmark,” Southgate was quoted by the English Football Association website.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.”
The Manchester United captain has been charged for aggravated assault and attempted bribery of an official. He was given a suspended sentence of 21 months after Tuesday’s trial even though he pleaded not guilty of any charge.
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 maintains his innocence. “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 believed that Maguire’s defense team was given little time to prepare. “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 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.