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Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Harry Maguire’s appeal against Greece brawl conviction postponed due to strike

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Manchester United defender Harry Maguire’s appeal against his conviction over a nightclub brawl on the Greek island of Mykonos has been postponed for a year because of a lawyers’ strike.

The 30-year-old England player is appealing against a 21-month suspended sentence following the incident in 2020. His case was due to be heard on Wednesday at a court on the island of Syros, the region’s administrative capital.

Yannis Paradeisis, a Syros lawyer assisting with the prosecution and representing four police officers allegedly assaulted in the brawl, said a new trial date was set for March 12 2025.

“The hearing has been postponed. It’s because of the lawyers’ strikes that have been occurring over the last few months,” Mr Paradeisis told the Associated Press.

Harry Maguire has been back in the Manchester United team

Lawyers and other Greek self-employed professionals are protesting against tax reforms announced last year. The strikes have added to a huge backlog in court cases.

Maintaining his innocence, Maguire said he intervened to protect his sister who had joined him on holiday and rejected suggestions that he should make an apology.

Maguire’s football career has been up and down since the incident in Greece.

He remains a regular starter for England, helping the team to the European Championship final in 2021 and staying in coach Gareth Southgate’s squad despite occasionally being dropped by United.

Maguire has faced criticism from England fans — often during games — but Southgate passionately defended him, blasting the “ridiculous treatment of him for a long period of time”.

At United, Maguire briefly fell out of favour with manager Erik ten Hag but regained his place during an injury crisis late last year and played so well that he has been back in the team.

He was the Premier League’s player of the month for November and is expected to start for England during Euro 2024 in Germany in June and July.

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