Myanmar’s substitute goalkeeper, Pyae Lyan Aung, who played a 2022 World Cup qualifier in Japan, has refused to return home and is seeking asylum, a request the Japanese government was considering taking into account unrest in his country following a coup.
Failing to join the rest of the
squad at the Kansai airport after their
10-0 defeat to Japan on May 28
expressed wish to seek refuge in
as he has said to officials by returning to Myanmar, he would
“risk his life,”
according toKyodo News agency
during his side’s World Cup qualifier against Japan, a symbol of the anti-coup resistance movement in Myanmar, “we need justice” written on his fingers.
Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary
, declined to comment on the details of the case, saying the government “will hear his wishes and respond appropriately.”
“The situation in Myanmar remains uncertain and we understand many Myanmar residents in Japan have fear of returning home,” Kato said.
Pyae Lyan Aung
told reporters that
military force had visited his home in
as he was concerned for the safety of other players and their families because of his refusal to return.
Despite all the risks, he said he summoned all his courage to tell
immigration authorities he wanted to stay, according to Kyodo.
The Feb. 1 coup that ousted the elected government of
Aung San Suu Kyi
reversed years of progress toward democracy in Myanmar after five decades of military rule, and they silenced the protests through force, including
killing protestors on the streets
mprisoning activists and journalists
As a result,
immigration authorities on May 28 introduced new measures for
residents who fear for their safety if they return home.