By Noah Atkinson
Leeds United have today announced plans to fly to the crisis country of Burma to play two post-season friendlies the week after their Championship season ends for matches against Burma’s national side and the Myanmar National League All-Stars team.
Leeds, who complete their domestic season on May 6th with a fixture against Queens Park Rangers will fly to the country of Burma soon after there campaign has ended.
Most of the first team squad is set to travel to Myanmar apart from those players that have upcoming international commitments. Swedish International defender Pontus Jansonn will not be part of the travelling squad to face Myanmar’s finest due to an upcoming international fixture against Peru. Leeds United plan on using these post season friendlies as an opportunity to work on the fitness of players in their squad that have missed large parts of the season through injuries.
The club released a statement in which they said that the AYA Bank Tour 2018 would allow them to be involved with “one of the fastest growing nations in southeast Asia”, the tour is said to have commercial benefits for Eleven Sports and Aser, two of the many companies owned by Leeds Chairman Andrea Radrizzan.
Burma (Myanmar) has been under going serious political and social unrest for the past 18 months with the governments regime being accused ethnic cleansing towards Rohingya Muslims, thousands of who have fled to Bangladesh.
The club took to twitter to announce the news of the AYA Bank Tour 2018 and faced huge backlash minutes after the tweet was released, with some fans disgusted that their club was associating themselves with a country that is accused of genocide against its own people.
Below are some of the twitter replies to Leeds United’s post season friendly announcement.
Many fans were shocked, astonished and appalled by the decision made by the club to travel to a country that is undergoing serious political unrest.
Fans believe that the safety of the players, staff and other fans may be under risk if they travel to Myanmar.
This is not the first time that Leeds United have faced social media backlash for a decision.
In January the club scrapped plans for a new badge after they received a furious backlash from their loyal fanbase.
Leeds United most certainly generate publicity through social media, but recently it hasn’t been for the right reasons…