Leeds United has taken the unusual step of announcing this week that they will take in a post-season tour of Myanmar, to the disgust of fans.
The Championship club, currently 12th in the English second tier, will play matches against an MNL All-Star Team and the Myanmar national team, which is ranked 135th in the world, in May.
The move is a bizarre one, given that there is serious, violent unrest in the country at present.
Myanmar has been involved in “ethnic cleansing” of Rohingya Muslims throughout the last year, with estimates from Doctors Without Borders putting the death toll in the first month alone at 6,700 people, per Al Jazeera .
Nevertheless, Leeds plans to visit the country and will run football clinics with local children in addition to their fixture commitments.
“Myanmar is one of the fastest growing nations in South East Asia and is passionate about English football,” said managing director Angus Kinnear.
“They have ambitious goals for grassroots and elite football development that we are delighted to be able to support.
“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.”
A number of supporters have expressed their concerns over the move, despite Kinnear’s confidence, with several pointing to the plight of the Rohingya people.
Leeds has, perhaps optimistically, claimed that travel advice will be given to supporters soon. –The42 Team