Rohingya people in Bradford have urged Leeds United owner Andrea Radrizzani to rethink the club’s summer plans.

The Championship side are set to travel to war-torn Myanmar for two post-season games but several people from Bradford involved within Rohingya communities have condemned the club’s decision.

The Rohingya are a stateless people who for many years lived in the predominantly Buddhist Myanmar. Many have faced violence in the state leading to almost one million fleeing as refugees to neighbouring Bangladesh.

Shaukat Ahmed, 60, of Manningham, who chairs a campaign to stop the violence in Myanmar and is involved with the Bradford Rohingya Community Group (BRC), said: “We’re disappointed the tour is going to go ahead.”

Mr Ahmed told the T&A that the BRC had tried to organise a meeting with Mr Radrizzani but had received no correspondence.

Many members of the BRC have lived in the refugee camps in Bangladesh and some even still have family there. Because of this first-hand experience, general secretary of the group, Nijam U Mohammed, 36, of Little Horton, who himself was a refugee for 18 years, believes they can help the club. He said: “If Andrea Radrizzani and LUFC really want to understand this situation we respectfully ask that they meet us for a discussion.”

Mr Ahmed has supported the club since the Don Revie era and said many other long-standing fans are disappointed. Mr Mohammed warned these fans that he believes the tour “will forever associate Leeds United with acts that the UN have described as a ‘textbook example of ethnic cleansing.’”

The owner has received widespread backlash from politicians, the press and on social media in wake of the decision, but yesterday he released an “open letter” on the club website stating he was standing by his plans and gave the reasons for doing so. It said: “I am aware of the serious issues within the country, but I also know that it is a beautiful place filled with incredibly warm and welcoming people. It is somewhere very close to my heart.”

He added: “Football is extremely popular in Myanmar and I believe the game we all love has the power to help developing nations by bringing people together, especially young people.

“It has never been my intention, nor that of the club, to get involved in a political debate in Myanmar. However, if because of the tour we further highlight the ongoing serious issues in certain areas of the country, then maybe that is a positive thing.”

Rohingya, Deen Mohammed Noori, 33, of Manningham, maintains the situation isn’t so simple.

He said: “Leeds United think the country is like any other country, but it’s not, it’s totally different – it doesn’t follow the usual humanitarian regulations upheld by others and isn’t safe to travel to.”

The club were contacted to make a further statement but did not respond.