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

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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".

Leeds United are planning to take an unusual, somewhat unsafe, post-season tour to the politically troubled country of Burma in Southeast Asia.

The fixtures are set to be held despite the United Kingdom foreign office warning against "all but essential travel" to parts of the country, which is in the midst of a military crackdown.

Kate Allen, Director of Amnesty International UK, described the choice as "odd" and said the club had a responsibility to call for an end to the violence against the Rohingya during their visit.

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

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'Hundreds of thousands of Rohingya have fled crimes against humanity in Rakhine State to neighbouring Bangladesh; those who remain continue to live under a system amounting to apartheid.

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

Leeds United Football Club have announced they will play two matches in Myanmar next month as part of a post-season tour.

The Championship club's plans to play an All-Star XI in Yangon on May 9 and Myanmar's national team in Mandalay on May 11 have been met by a storm of protest.

The United Nations and rights groups say almost 700,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled to Bangladesh since a military operation in Rakhine state began in August.

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The club now sits in 12th place in the Championship, England's second-tier league.

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

"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".

"But Italian Radrizzani has taken to Leeds" official website to defend the tour in an open letter.

A Leeds spokesman told Press Association Sport that the club is liaising with the Foreign Office and will avoid any areas of conflict.

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The Championship club's social media accounts have advised fans "to wait for further advice" before arranging travel to the country.

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