Manchester United captain Harry Maguire has offered his explanation to the BBC on Thursday that he was fearful for his life and thought he was being kidnapped as he was arrested by plainclothes police officers following a fracas on the Greek island of Mykonos.
Maguire was found guilty of repeated bodily harm, attempted bribery, violence against public employees and insulting behavior after his arrest in a bar brawl during which two Hellenic police officers were assaulted. He was given a suspended prison sentence of 21 months and 10 days, but Manchester United said on Wednesday that Maguire had been granted a full retrial after appealing against the verdict.
“It was horrible. It’s not something I ever want to do again. I don’t wish it on anybody. It’s the first time I’d ever been inside a prison,” Maguire said of his two nights in custody.
Maguire also said his younger sister Daisy had been attacked in a bar on the island by two men who drugged her with an injection, adding that when he tried to take her to hospital he was subsequently arrested.
“They just started hitting us. He was hitting my legs and saying my career is over, no more football, you won’t play again,” said Maguire, visibly shaken.
“And at this point, I thought there’s no chance that these are police, I don’t know who they are, I tried to run away.”
Maguire’s brother Joe and friend Christopher Sharman were also arrested and found guilty on various charges. Joe was found guilty of repeated bodily harm, violence against public employees and attempted bribery while Sharman was found guilty of insult, repeated bodily harm and violence against public employees.
Maguire’s lawyer Alexis Anagnostakis informed the court during the trial that two men had approached 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.
Maguire denied trying to bribe the police involved in the incident.
“I have great faith in the Greek law, a retrial will give us more time to prepare, gather the evidence, allow witnesses into the court. I’m really confident that the truth will be told and come out,” he added.
“I don’t feel like I owe an apology to anybody. An apology is something when you’ve done something wrong. Do I regret … I regret being in the situation, obviously the situation has made it difficult. I play for one of the biggest clubs in the world so I regret putting the fans and the club through this.”
Sources told ESPN’s Mark Ogden on Wednesday that Maguire has the backing of Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and will retain the club captaincy.
Credit: Football Tribe Malaysia