Leeds urged to cancel 'morally corrupt' Myanmar trip by Labour sports minister

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Leeds United will go on a post-season tour of Myanmar, despite an ongoing military crackdown in the country.

Leeds will play an all-star team from Myanmar's National League and then the national team, on a tour sponsored by AYA, a private Myanmar bank implicated in ethnic cleansing against the Rohingya.

In those areas, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) guidance is to "check travel advice before travelling".

The Burmese government has been accused of ethnic cleansing by United Nations officials following violence which forced thousands of Rohingya Muslims to leave their homes and flee over the border to neighbouring Bangladesh.

"The Myanmar authorities have continued the brutal crackdown despite a global outcry".


The Championship side once again invited a deluge of scorn from everybody, including Amnesty International, after they announced they'd be taking their show on the road to play two friendlies in a country now mired in what the United Nations have branded an "ethnic cleansing" campaign against Rohingya Muslims.

"It certainly seems like an odd choice of country to choose to tour", said Kate Allen, Director of Amnesty International UK.

The Leeds United Supporters Club of Scandinavia, which claims to represent 5000 fans, has called for the tour to be cancelled.

Leeds United Supporters Club secretary Chris Hall added: "It seems a unusual decision for Leeds to be playing two friendly games there".

"The club is not receiving any fee to play", he said.


Leeds managing director Angus Kinnear said the club was "delighted" to support Myanmar's ambitions for grassroots and elite football development.

"This tour gives us an opportunity to meet new fans of football who will hopefully support our journey back to the Premier League in the coming years".

However Kyi has since drawn widespread criticism from around the world for her persecution or as United Nations assistant secretary-general for human rights, Andrew Gilmour calls it, "ethnic cleansing", of Rohingya people.

"I also want to be clear that I am active in the Southeast Asia region with ongoing business practices that provide jobs and help to develop the local sports and media sectors".

The tour, which will also see the club hold football clinics and PR visits to landmarks including Yangon's Shwedagon pagoda, already stirred controversy.


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