Amnesty International questions Leeds United's planned tour to Myanmar

26 April, 2018, 00:41 | Author: Norman Carr
  • Highlights of the Sky Bet Championship match between Leeds and Barnsley.                                       Highlights of the Sky Bet Championship match between Leeds and Barn

British soccer team, Leeds United FC, is under fire after announcing Tuesday their plans to tour Myanmar despite the mounting allegations of human rights abuses and an "ethnic cleansing" in the country.

Radrizzani said he was aware of the "serious issues" in the country but that it was a "beautiful place filled with incredibly warm and welcoming people".

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. I sincerely hope you will reconsider your post-season tour'.

Radrizzani, addressing the Leeds fans and the football community, wrote: "I wanted to take this opportunity to give more background on the Club's trip to Myanmar in May".

Two companies owned by Leeds chairman Andrea Radrizzani, Aser and Eleven Sports, have business partnerships in the region and there are expected to be commercial benefits from the tour. "They must rethink it, history will judge them to be on the wrong side of this".

Leeds managing director Angus Kinnear said: "Myanmar is one of the fastest growing nations in South East Asia and is passionate about English football". Seventy people died in the country last August, when insurgents attacked police and armed forces.

Amnesty International was quick to criticise the move.




Both the military and government, which is led by Nobel prize victor Aung San Suu Kyi, have denied any responsibility for the violence.

Amnesty International issued a statement calling it an "odd choice of country to choose to tour".

Political unrest has been a feature of life in Myanmar for several years.

Kingdom, who have criticised the tour due to the ongoing violence in Myanmar's Rakhine State. "But, if the tour does go ahead, the club should use its leverage to call for an end to the crackdown and raise with the Burmese authorities the plight of the hundreds of thousands of families who have been brutalized and forced to flee their homes".

AYA bank is owned by the Myanmar tycoon Zaw Zaw, who was blacklisted by the U.S. for being a crony of the former military regime.

"Far too often sporting events have been used as a cheap PR tool to "sports wash" the stain of a country's human rights record", she said.

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