'Irrelevant' - Heck makes admission about controversial Leeds decision, details one worry he has
Leeds United manager Paul Heckingbottom has admitted that the football is going to be “irrelevant” during his side’s controversial post-season tour of crisis-hit Myanmar.
Almost 700,000 of Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslim population have fled the country in less than a year due to ongoing military operations and that has sparked a serious debate over whether Leeds should be visiting there.
Heckingbottom was quizzed about the controversial decision to tour to Asian nation in May in a press conference on Thursday, and he has confirmed that only a few players will be jetting out to play the Myanmar National League All-Star team and the country’s international side.
“Some will be going, it’ll be a small squad, not ideal in terms of numbers we can take and with the weather out there lots of travel so the football’s going to be irrelevant in a way because of the travel that we do, the temperatures we are playing in, the smallness of the squad,” he said, as quoted by Leeds-Live.
When asked if he had any concerns about visiting Myanmar, Heckingbottom did detail that he had one worry – although it is nothing to do with the fact that the decision to go their has been labelled “morally corrupt” by a Labour MP.
“Just the flying! That’s it for me,” he said.
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Football Insider verdict
It’s mad that Leeds are standing by this decision. There are surely hundreds more countries they could visit that would be of more financial significance to the club and it just seems to be done to appease some of Andrea Radrizzani’s business partners. Showing up in Myanmar is a disgrace and it seems that the majority of fans have agreed that there is no need for the squad to travel there when it seems like a massive risk with the Zika virus also being something to worry about. Radrizzani has done a lot of good at Elland Road, but he seems to be trying to balance it out with a lot of bad decisions as well.