For almost a week now, Manchester United captain Harry Maguire has been in the news for the wrong reasons. The month of August began to look bad for him when Sevilla knocked United out of the Europa League in the semi-final stage of the competition. Little did he know that worse days were ahead.
After a long 2019-2020 season which was filled with ups and downs for United, Maguire decided to take himself to Mykonos island in Greece to cool off from all the pressure. He decided to go there with his fiancee Fern and his younger sister Daisy. His brother Laurence, his brother’s girlfriend, two friends and their girlfriends were also with him.
Suddenly, what they thought would be a moment of relaxation and fun turned out to be a period of frustration when the Greek police issued a statement alleging that Harry Maguire and two other Britons got involved in a fight. The police statement indicted Maguire and his friends saying the Britons punched the police and resisted arrest.
He was then charged for assault, attempted bribery, and resisting police arrest. The court in Greece found the Manchester United star guilty of all the charges and slammed him with a suspended prison sentence of 21 months and 10 days. This development forced the head coach of England national team, Gareth Southgate, to drop him from the country’s team list.
Harry Maguire’s side of the story
Contrary to the police’s statement and the court judgment, Harry Maguire told BBC that he and his friends were attacked first. He narrated how he was beaten up by the men that claimed to be police officers.
The footballer said: “From their statement, I am pretty sure they said I hurt a policeman’s back and arm. I had the hand in the air, handcuffed, when I tried running away, I didn’t realize they were police at the time and thought I was getting kidnapped. I don’t think I hurt him. Put it this way: I didn’t hurt him as much as they hurt me.
“I knew they knew who I was. Five minutes before they were beating me up saying my career is over, so I knew they knew who I was. As soon as I saw that statement… just ridiculous.
“There was definitely no bribe involved. At that moment we were sat in the entrance of the prison, we were so distraught, we were crying. We still didn’t believe where we were.
“It’s not nice seeing bad reports against yourself. No-one knew what went off that night. Either you believe it or you don’t. Even after the court case still, the stories coming out of the court case are so far away from the truth it is incredible. So, no, my character and personality will stay the same. I am strong mentally and I will get over this.
“My conscience is clear. I know exactly what happened that night.”
Will Manchester United take the captaincy off Harry Maguire?
When Harry Maguire was sentenced in Greece, Manchester United issued a statement to insist that the judgment will be appealed which means that the club is still solidly behind their captain.
But now that the England national team has reacted to the judgment by dropping him off the team that will execute the country’s first set of matches in the 2020-2021 European Nations League, the question is, will Manchester United take away Harry Maguire’s captain hand-band ahead of the 2020-2021 football season?
When the BBC raised this question with Maguire, the Manchester United captain said: “It is such a huge honor to be captain of Manchester United – something I am really proud of. “It is a massive privilege to play for the club, never mind captain.
“It is not my decision to make but the one thing I will say is how supportive the club has been from top to bottom. They have been great with me and I thank them for that.”