Southgate drops Maguire from England squad after court verdict
Manchester United captain Harry Maguire was withdrawn from England’s Nations League squad on Wednesday morning (Aug 26, Singapore time), after a Greek court found him guilty of multiple charges following a brawl on the island of Mykonos last week.
Court officials said Maguire had been found guilty of repeated bodily harm, attempted bribery, violence against public employees and insult after his arrest in Mykonos last Thursday.
The 27-year-old was handed a suspended prison sentence of 21 months and 10 days by the Greek court.
Manchester United captain Maguire was initially named in Southgate’s latest squad on Tuesday, while his trial was ongoing.
“In light of this evening’s developments, I can confirm I have withdrawn Harry Maguire from the England squad for the matches against Iceland and Denmark,” Southgate said in a statement.
“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.”
Centre-back Maguire had pleaded not guilty and was released after spending two nights in police custody following his arrest. He was represented by his lawyers in court at a hearing on Tuesday.
After Tuesday’s verdict, Maguire said he had instructed his legal team “with immediate effect to inform the courts we will be appealing”.
In a news conference earlier on Tuesday, Southgate 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,” said Southgate.
England have decided against calling up a replacement for Maguire as they prepare to face Iceland on Sept 5 in Reykjavik before taking on Denmark in Copenhagen on Sept 8.
Captain Harry Kane is included in the squad despite 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 English 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. – REUTERS