Manchester United captain, Harry Maguire has said he was scared for his life and thought he was the victim of a kidnapping during his recent arrest in Greece.
The 27-year-old England defender was handed a suspended sentence of 21 months and 10 days after being found guilty of repeated bodily harm, attempted bribery, violence against public employees and insult after his arrest on the Greek island of Mykonos.
However, Maguire told BBC Sport that plain-clothed police officers, who he says did not identify themselves, pulled over the minibus his group was riding in, threw him off the vehicle and hit him in his legs.
The Red Devils’ defender said he tried to run away because he had no idea who the men were.
“They hit me a lot on the legs. I was in that much of a panic. Fear. Scared for my life,” he said, adding that his “conscience is clear”.
“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,” Maguire added.
On Wednesday, Maguire’s legal team filed an appeal against the ruling.
Under Greek law, the appeal nullifies the court’s original conviction so there will be a full retrial.
Maguire’s brother, Joe and friend Christopher Sharman were also found guilty on a range of charges and received sentence of 13 months in prison, with three years suspension.
The three men denied all the charges.
However, Gareth Southgate withdrew Maguire from England’s squad for the Nations League matches against Iceland and Denmark next month, having initially selected him on Tuesday.