MPs write to Leeds owner urging him to reconsider club's post-season Myanmar trip

MPs write to Leeds owner urging him to reconsider club's post-season Myanmar trip

A group of five Leeds MPs have written to Leeds United owner Andrea Radrizzani, urging him to reconsider the club's post-season trip to Myanmar.

Radrizzani on Wednesday defended the tour, saying it would have a "positive impact", after it had been branded "morally corrupt" by critics.

Rachel Reeves, MP for Leeds West, posted the five MPs' letter on Twitter on Friday alongside the words: "If Leeds United play in Myanmar, they will effectively be endorsing the actions of a Government that has forced almost 700,000 people to flee its brutal regime of terror and violence.

"@LUFC has a moral responsibility and should cancel plans to tour Myanmar."

In the letter, the MPs - Reeves, Hilary Benn (Leeds Central), Richard Burgon (Leeds East), Fabian Hamilton (Leeds North East) and Alex Sobel (Leeds North West) - expressed "serious concerns" about next month's proposed trip.

They said it would be "deeply inappropriate for Leeds United to play in Myanmar", and added: "We hope you will think about the representations we are making and reconsider the decision for Leeds United to play in Myanmar."

The Sky Bet Championship club plan to play an All-Star XI in Yangon on May 9 and Myanmar's national team in Mandalay on May 11.

Andrea Radrizzani
Andrea Radrizzani

Myanmar's governing regime has been accused of ethnic cleansing of Rohingya Muslims, including rape and slaughter.

Radrizzani, who has business interests in south-east Asia, believes the tour could "further highlight the ongoing serious issues", and "maybe that is a positive thing".

The Italian, writing in an open letter to fans earlier this week, said he had visited the country many times and it was "somewhere very close to my heart".

- PA

More on this topic

Jailed Reuters reporters released after Burmese pardonJailed Reuters reporters released after Burmese pardon

Wives and children of jailed Burma journalists attend appeal hearingWives and children of jailed Burma journalists attend appeal hearing

Amnesty International withdraws award from Myanmar leader Suu KyiAmnesty International withdraws award from Myanmar leader Suu Kyi

International Criminal Court begins preliminary probe into Rohingya deportationsInternational Criminal Court begins preliminary probe into Rohingya deportations

More in this Section

Neil Warnock leaves Cardiff by mutual consentNeil Warnock leaves Cardiff by mutual consent

'Why are we changing again?': Michael Murphy critical of GAA's rules tinkering'Why are we changing again?': Michael Murphy critical of GAA's rules tinkering

Banned coach Alberto Salazar appeals to CASBanned coach Alberto Salazar appeals to CAS

Daniel James enjoying challenges of life in the Premier League fast laneDaniel James enjoying challenges of life in the Premier League fast lane


Lifestyle

Helen O’Callaghan on the dangers of products high in caffeine.The dangers of energy drinks full of sugar

When bride-to-be Alma Clohessy enlisted her mother Rita’s help in planning her wedding, they made the most of every precious moment together.Wedding of the Week: 'It was the best, yet most emotional day of my life'

As you may be aware, new rules around motor insurance documentation have been introduced. The rules are aimed at improving transparency for consumers but a broker is warning they may have unintended consequences and could cause some confusion among policy holders.Drive a hard bargain for better car insurance

When Peter Ryan lost 90% of his vision in his early 20s, his readjustment was emotionally painful, but maturing, says Helen O’CallaghanA new way of seeing the world: Peter Ryan talks about losing 90% of his sight in his early 20s

More From The Irish Examiner