Myanmar international is seeking refuge in Japan

Fri 18 June 2021 | 6:24

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 to 

Kyodo News agency


The goalkeeper raised a three-finger salute

 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

 and i

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.



source: SportMob

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