Is Leeds United joining the big clubs in looking for lucrative overseas friendlies during the summer? Leeds are reportedly set to appear in two friendlies in Myanmar.
Leeds United to visit Myanmar for two friendly matches in Yangon and Mandalay https://t.co/85XOliJ6B3— Whitesforever (@Whitesforever) April 20, 2018
The Myanmar Times is reporting that Leeds United is set to appear in two friendlies against local teams in May:
England championship club Leeds United will visit Myanmar to play two friendly matches in Yangon and Mandalay next month.
As part of AYA Bank Tour 2018, the England championship club will come here to play friendly matches against Myanmar National League All Star team and Myanmar national team in Yangon and Mandalay.
The visiting team will play against MNL All Stars team at the Thuwunna stadium in Yangon on May 9 and the Myanmar national team on May 11 at Mandalar Thiri stadium in Mandalay.
While this is sort of surprising news, it sort of makes sense. Leeds owner Andrea Radrizzani has done business in Asia for years. A majority stake of his sports-rights firm, MP & Silva, was sold to a Chinese firm in May of 2016. Radrizzani also acted as an advisor to Chinese firm Suning Group when the company purchased Inter Milan in the summer of 2016.
Additionally, he was spotted with the president of the Myanmar Football Federation in late January, posting a picture of him with Zaw Zaw on Instagram, saying, “Great meeting Mr Zaw Zaw President of Myanmar Football Federation, Chairman of Myanmar National League and Vice President of ASEAN Football Federation.”
If this raises the profile of Leeds overseas, then friendlies like these make sense. And if these can help make some money for the club that can be put into the transfer budget, then it’s even better.
No other word if Leeds plan on any other dates in Asia in May or where Leeds are planning on having training camp or a preseason tour.