Leeds United will be embarking on an embarrassing trip to Myanmar this week, and we won’t be covering it at all. Two meaningless post-season matches will take place, and they’re supposedly going to be available to watch on LUTV. Watch them if you want to, but we won’t be writing previews or recaps or anything of the like.
We here at Through It All Together think this whole tour is a huge mistake, and to show our displeasure, we’re not going to write about any of the matches that take place. And while people from the Yorkshire Evening Post and other media outlets will be covering it, as it’s their job, this is a fan site written by fans, for fans, and that means we can take a stand if the club does something we think is wrong.
The decision to go to Myanmar, despite the outcry from the international community and local MPs, not to mention an outcry from fans, is a poor decision. It wasn’t a well-thought out decision in the first place, and instead of explaining the reasons behind the trip, Leeds owner Andrea Radrizzani wrote an “open letter” to fans that may have actually made things worse.
To blunt, the government in Myanmar is engaged in criminal activity towards the Rohingya people, and playing these matches and associating with the regime in charge of Myanmar is simply going too far. There are no benefits to Leeds United to go on this tour, as Radrizzani has said that the club is not getting paid to do this tour. Listen to Jack’s mini “rant” about the subject on the latest Mighty Whites Podcast because he does a great job of breaking down exactly what is going on and why the club should not be associating themselves with the government of Myanmar.
So yes, the club might be getting a “warm welcome” from the people there, but going to Myanmar is not right. And yes, many other clubs have links to dodgy governments or dodgy individuals and the flood of petrodollars into football from questionable characters in the Middle East seems to continue unabated. Even Leeds has an “partnership” with the Aspire Academy out of Qatar.
However, this trip is too far. This whole tour has done nothing but soil the name and brand of Leeds United throughout the world. No matter what the intentions by Radrizzani might be, this isn’t right, and so we won’t be covering it.