Published: Thu, April 26, 2018
Medical | By Mark Scott

Leeds owner Andrea Radrizzani defends Myanmar tour

Leeds owner Andrea Radrizzani defends Myanmar tour

It all comes across as overly altruistic from Radrizzani, but surely simply by co-operating with the Myanmar authorities the club is turning a blind eye to the atrocities that are taking place on the government's watch.

"It is morally corrupt for a football team to partake in a post-season tour to promote a country which carries out state-sponsored mass murder", Dr Allin-Khan said.

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.

Amnesty International agreed, with United Kingdom director Kate Allen calling the decision to travel to Myanmar an "odd choice", and urging the team to use their trip for anti-human rights abuse activism. 'The previous year has seen the human rights situation in Myanmar deteriorate dramatically.

Kingdom, who have criticised the tour due to the ongoing violence in Myanmar's Rakhine State. The military continues to deny allegations of genocide and ethnic cleansing, claiming it is staging a legitimate crackdown against terrorist groups.

"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.

Leeds owner Andrea Radrizzani has defended the club's controversial plans for a postseason tour of Burma.

"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".

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

Kinnear, however, said: "Myanmar is one of the fastest growing nations in South East Asia and is passionate about English football".

Amnesty International agrees Leeds' decision to visit is "odd" but has encouraged the club to put pressure on the government to end the conflict.

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

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.

Leeds say players and coaches will run football sessions with local children and will visit cultural sites, such as Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon, and the Maha Myat Muni Pagoda in Mandalay.

Two companies owned by Leeds chief Radrizzani, Aser and Eleven Sports, have business partnerships in the region and there are expected to be commercial benefits from the tour.

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