Leeds owner Andrea Radrizzani has defended the club's decision to tour Myanmar at the end of the season.

The Sky Bet Championship club's plans to play an All-Star XI in Yangon on May 9 and Myanmar's national team in Mandalay on May 11 have been met by a storm of protest.

Shadow sports minister Dr Rosena Allin-Khan, Amnesty International and large numbers of Leeds fans have urged the club to cancel the trip.

Myanmar's governing regime has been accused of ethnic cleansing of Rohingya Muslims, including rape and slaughter, but Radrizzani, who has business interests in south-east Asia, insists the tour will have a positive impact.

"It has never been my intention, nor that of the club, to get involved in a political debate in Myanmar," Radrizzani said in an open letter.

"However, if because of the tour we further highlight the ongoing serious issues in certain areas of the country, then maybe that is positive thing.

"We simply want to use sport to do some good. I am proud to be active in another region in south-east Asia where I support via Play For Change, a local NGO (non-governmental organisation) in Nepal, in providing sports and educational activities to over 4000 underprivileged children.

"We can't spread our values by turning our backs, we can only do this by engaging. We will go to Myanmar to share the famous values and ethos of Leeds United Football Club."

Radrizzani, whose companies Aser and Eleven Sports have business partnerships in the region, said the club would not receive any payment to play in Myanmar.

Leeds will be holding football clinics with the Myanmar Football Federation Academies in Yangon and Mandalay.

"I see this both as a personal initiative to support local football and a way to introduce the name of Leeds United in the fastest growing country in south-east Asia," the Italian said.

Radrizzani said he had spent 10 years living in Asia and had visited Myanmar on several occasions. "It is somewhere very close to my heart," he added.