Mykonos has long been a favored, secluded destination of footballers during the small window between football seasons, with no quarantine restrictions yet on return to the UK to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
However, the tranquility on the idyllic island paradise was rudely interrupted when Manchester United captain, Harry Maguire, was detained in the early hours of Thursday local time with two other men in Mykonos and is set to face a public prosecutor in Syros, an adjacent island, accessible by speedboat, which handles public order in the southern Aegean locale. The 27-year-old’s hearing is set for Saturday morning which means two not-so-comfortable nights in a jail cell.
Manchester United have been trying to find out whether there is any substance to claims police were “insulted” and “struck” and even offered a bribe when they confronted the group Maguire was socialising with during his summer holiday with team-mates Marcus Rashford and Brandon Williams during the day on the island that has been popular with Premier League footballers.
The Hellenic Police released a statement on their official website astynomia.gr following the arrest, alleging assault and “attempted bribery”.
“Three foreigners, aged 27, 28, and 29, were arrested in Mykonos by police officers of the Mykonos Police Department (for) disobedience, bodily harm, insult and attempted bribery of an employee,” read the statement from the Hellenic Police.
“In particular, early this morning, patrolling police officers in the area of Mykonos intervened and normalized a dispute between citizens, however, three foreigners involved in the incident turned against them, insulting and hitting a police officer with fists.
“The three foreigners were taken to the Mykonos Police Station, where upon their arrival they strongly resisted, pushing and beating three police officers. One of the detainees then tried to offer money so that the trial against them would not be completed. The arrested are taken to the Syros Prosecutor’s Office.”
Manchester United will look to establish the circumstances around Harry Maguire being arrested in Greece amid extraordinary allegations from the Hellenic Police including “attempted bribery” and assaulting local officers.
United speedily made contact with Maguire on Friday morning and say the England centre-back is “fully cooperating” with police.
“The club is aware of an alleged incident involving Harry Maguire in Mykonos last night,” read a statement from United. “Contact has been made with Harry, and he is fully cooperating with the Greek authorities. At this time we will be making no further comment.”
The Proto Thema newspaper first reported the story of the arrest with their website showing video footage of Maguire mingling with people in a Mykonos bar. He was shown posing with fans for selfies and it was even reported that his name was chanted on the streets when he was spotted in Mykonos.
They say after the arrest the three were detained at Mykonos police station, with a boat required to travel to face the public prosecutor around 30 miles away in Syros.
While United are looking to establish the facts around the incident, the incident will no doubt come as an embarrassment that their club captain has been arrested on holiday for disrupting peace in public besides being allegedly charged with bribery. The gravity of the incident is of concern as Maguire is also in Gareth Southgate’s leadership group of senior players who come together to make decisions while on international duty – not international scandal.
started Maguire in every Premier League game last season and wants to build his defence around his skipper. While some of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s players have returned to the club’s Carrington training base, Maguire was among those granted a holiday time after featuring in the Europa League knockout stages, which were held in Germany.