Leeds United announce Myanmar tour

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This is despite the club being fully aware of the violence that has caused 700,000 of the Rohingya population of Myanmar to flee the country in the last eight months.

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. Do you honestly believe your fans want the club they've supported all their lives to start endorsing a state carrying out such terrible atrocities on innocent people?

The group says it views the tour as "an opportunity for Leeds United to be pioneers and break down barriers and build relationships with the people and business community within a country trying to emerge from a hard past". That is why I wanted to take the team on a post-season tour to play matches and run coaching clinics with children from the area.

English football club Leeds United has drawn criticism for a planned postseason tour of Myanmar, with complaints from fans and a member of the UK parliament urging its cancellation.

"It certainly seems like an odd choice of country to choose to tour", said its United Kingdom director Kate Allen.

"The past year has seen the human rights situation in Myanmar deteriorate dramatically", Allen said.

'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.

"Far too often sporting events have been used as a cheap PR tool to "sportswash" the stain of a country's human rights record". "They must rethink it, history will judge them to be on the wrong side of this".

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"Our message to fans would be "don't go without making an informed decision".

"It's not a tour that I would have chosen personally".

"The Club is not receiving any fee to play".

I wanted to take this opportunity to give more background on the Club's trip to Myanmar in May.

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

Commenting on the tour as it was announced in Yangon, Leeds managing director Angus Kinnear said: "Myanmar is one of the fastest-growing nations in southeast Asia and is passionate about English football".

The Leeds owner, Andrea Radrizzani, has business interests in sports media firms operating in south-east Asia.

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