ATHENS, Greece: Manchester United defender Harry Maguire has been found guilty of assault at a trial Tuesday following his arrest after a brawl last week on the island of Mykonos, court officials in Greece said.
United issued a statement saying Maguire, who was released from custody over the weekend, “continues to strongly assert his innocence” and would appeal.
Maguire was withdrawn from the England squad by coach Gareth Southgate following his conviction for assault, hours after being selected for two upcoming matches.
Maguire, who is the world’s most expensive defender, was not present at the trial on the nearby island of Syros. He was found guilty of assault, swearing in public, and attempting to bribe a police officer.
“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,” United said. “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.”
Two other defendants were also found guilty on similar charges before the court called a recess to decide on sentencing. None of the three defendants were present at the trial held under fast-track procedures.
Southgate had included the Manchester United captain in his team after backing the defender’s version of events and receiving an apology for being detained after a brawl last week while on vacation on the island of Mykonos.
But Southgate made the about-turn after the world’s most expensive defender was handed a 21-month suspended sentence. 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.
“In light of this evening’s developments, I can confirm I have withdrawn Harry Maguire from the England squad for the matches against Iceland and Denmark,” Southgate said. “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 has made 26 appearances for England, which plays Iceland on Sept. 5 and Denmark three days later in the UEFA Nations League.
Southgate’s side has not played this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, which led to the European Championship being postponed until 2021.
Maguire’s United teammate, 18-year-old forward Mason Greenwood, has been brought into the senior squad for the first time. Manchester City playmaker Phil Foden and Leeds defensive midfielder Kalvin Phillips also earned first call-ups.