Leeds urged to help Rohingya during 'odd' Myanmar tour

Plans are in place for Paul Heckingbottom's Leeds to spend a week in Myanmar next month

Plans are in place for Paul Heckingbottom's Leeds to spend a week in Myanmar next month

Amnesty International have described the actions against the Rohingya Muslims in the northern state of Rahkine as genocide.

Myanmar's government, which does not give the Rohingya citizenship and sees them as illegal immigrants from Bangladesh, says it is fighting militants and has denied targeting civilians.

The Yorkshire team announced the promotional tour on its website earlier in the week.

On May 9 the Championship outfit will play a Myanmar National League All Star Team at Thuwunna Stadium in Yangon.

Andrea Radrizzani has been urged by the shadow sports minister, Rosena Allin-Khan, to scrap the "morally corrupt" tour due to "ethnic cleansing" and human rights abuses against the Rohingya people in Burma.

In the letter the Labour politician said that the "morally corrupt" action would legitimize the Myanmar government's refusal to engage diplomatically on what the United Nations has called the ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya. He wrote: "I have spent over 10 years living in Asia and Myanmar is a country I have visited on many occasions".

While fans expressed concern over aligning the club with Myanmar, the Leeds managing director, Angus Kinnear, defended the decision and said the squad "are very excited for the chance to represent the club in Asia".

'It is imperative that Leeds United is on the right side of history.

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Some fans of the club have also taken to social media to agree with her stance.

"They have ambitious goals for grassroots and elite football development that we are delighted to be able to support".

Another simply tweeted, "This tour is not in my name".

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".

LUST chairman Steve White told Press Association Sport: "We're mainly concerned with the welfare of fans because no matter where Leeds United play, whether on a post-season tour or a pre-season tour, there will be fans going, simple as that".

A statement from the club's supporters trust took issue with the tour, but from the perspective of safety.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all non-essential travel to four separate areas of Myanmar, formerly Burma.

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