Leeds United announce Myanmar tour

Cheryl Sanders
April 26, 2018

"Football is extremely popular in Myanmar and I believe the game we all love has the power to help developing nations by bringing people together, especially young people".

Burma has been accused of ethnic cleansing and human rights abuses against the Muslim Rohingya minority by the United Nations, which has led to 700,000 people fleeing across the border to Bangladesh.

'We simply want to use sport to do some good.

"Leeds have been urged to cancel their pre-season tour of Myanmar, branded 'morally corrupt" by shadow sports minister Dr Rosena Allin-Khan.

'We can't spread our values by turning our backs, we can only do this by engaging.

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Another day, another insane decision in the world of Leeds United Football Club.

"It is imperative that Leeds United is on the right side of history". I sincerely hope you will reconsider your post-season tour'.

Amnesty International agreed, with United Kingdom director Kate Allen calling the decision to travel to Myanmar an "odd choice", and urging the team to use their trip for anti-human rights abuse activism.

Andrea Radrizzani, the Italian businessman who became the full owner of Leeds past year, even suggested the tour may be beneficial in raising awareness of what the United Nations has called a "textbook example of ethnic cleansing".

"The a year ago has seen the human rights situation in Myanmar deteriorate dramatically".

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Kingdom, who have criticised the tour due to the ongoing violence in Myanmar's Rakhine State.

Amnesty has said Leeds United's decision to tour Myanmar is "odd" and has called on the club to speak out about the plight of the Rohingya.

Foreign Office guidance warns against all but essential travel to several parts of Burma but Leeds are to contest friendlies outside the most volatile zones during a commercial tour sponsored by AYA Bank.

The second-tier side will also conduct football clinics with Myanmar Football Federation academies in Yangon and Mandalay and visit cultural sites including Shwedagon Pagoda and the Maha Myat Muni Pagoda, the Yorkshire club said in a statement.

In the statement, Kate Allen, Director of Amnesty International UK is quoted as saying that "far too often sporting events have been used as a cheap PR tool to "sportswash" the stain of a country's human rights record".

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Myanmar denies accusations its military crackdown constitutes ethnic cleansing.

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