The Asian Cup qualifier between North Korea and Malaysia later this month has been postponed, announced the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) on Friday (Mar 10) amid diplomatic tensions.
The fixture was scheduled to be played on Mar 28 in Pyongyang, but the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) had put in a request to the AFC for the match to be held at “a neutral venue”.
On Monday, the Malaysian government barred its national football squad from traveling to Pyongyang for the match, for safety reasons.
“The Asian Football Confederation Competitions Committee have on Friday decided to postpone the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 Final Round Qualifier between DPR Korea and Malaysia,” the AFC announced on its website.
It said it decided to postpone the tie “after escalating diplomatic tension between the governments of DPR Korea and Malaysia”, adding that a new date for the game will be announced in due course.
The two nations were due to open the final phase of qualifying for the Asian Cup finals hosted by the United Arab Emirates with a Group B encounter at Pyongyang’s Kim Il Sung Stadium.