Harry Maguire has revealed he feared for his life after being arrested by Greek police, saying he thought he was being kidnapped.
The Manchester United captain was taken into police custody last week in Mykonos and was subsequently found guilty of aggravated assault and attempted bribery. He was handed a suspended sentence of 21 months and 10 days, given that it was his first offence.
Maguire has continually professed his innocence and one day after his conviction his legal team appealed the decision. A date has not yet been set for the retrial.
Now, after a period of silence, the 27-year-old has given his first interview with BBC News since his ordeal, reiterating that he doesn’t feel that he did anything wrong.
“I don’t feel I owe an apology to anybody,” he said. “An apology is something when you have done something wrong.”
“I don’t wish it on anybody. Obviously the situation has made it difficult for one of the biggest clubs in the world, so I regret putting the fans and the club through this, but I did nothing wrong. I found myself in a situation where it could have happened to anybody and anywhere.”
An emotional Maguire claimed Greek police pulled his minibus over and physically dragged him out. He then alleges that police officers starting kicking his legs and threatening him that his football career was over.
Quizzed about the extent of his injuries, Maguire said: “They hit me a lot on the legs. It wasn’t on my mind. I was in that much of a panic. Fear. Scared for my life.”
The incident has led to questions over whether Maguire should continue as Red Devils captain. When asked about this, the former Leicester City man said that it was not his decision to make. The club are expected to back their skipper while he goes through the appeals process, but he has been removed from Gareth Southgate’s latest England squad.