Rest of SEA

Leeds United announce pair of Myanmar friendlies

England’s Leeds United have announced a post-season tour of Myanmar, a rare visit by a European club to the developing Southeast Asian nation.

The Championship side will face a Myanmar National League All Star team on May 9 at Thuwunna Stadium in Yangon before playing the country’s national side at Mandalar Thiri Stadium in Mandalay.

“Myanmar is one of the fastest growing nations in South East Asia and is passionate about English football. They have ambitious goals for grassroots and elite football development that we are delighted to be able to support,” said Angus Kinnear, the club’s managing director.

As part of the tour, which is sponsored by Myanmar’s AYA Bank, Leeds players and staff will run football clinics in cooperation with the Myanmar Football Federation Academies.

“We are very pleased to welcome an English club with the history and heritage of Leeds United,” MFF president U Ko Ko Thein said. “The football infrastructure in Myanmar continues to improve and develop, and this is an important milestone on our journey.”

Leeds have recently sought to widen their footprint in Asia, hiring former Japan international Toshiya Fujita as their Head of Football Development (Asia) last summer and midfielder Yosuke Ideguchi from Gamba Osaka during January’s transfer window.

According to the Myanmar Times, tickets for the two matches will be priced between 2,000 and 4,000 Kyat (US$1.50-3).