An Asian Cup qualifier between Malaysia and North Korea which was postponed after their diplomatic ties soured will now be held on June 8, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) announced Wednesday.
The Harimau Malaysia squad had originally been due to play in Pyongyang on March 28 as a lead up to the 2019 tournament in the United Arab Emirates. However, Malaysian officials last week banned the team from playing in Pyongyang, citing security fears, followed by an AFC decision to postpone the tie due to “escalating diplomatic tension”.
On Wednesday, AFC general secretary Windsor John told reporters that “the match between DPRK Korea and Malaysia will be played on June 8”.
He added: “In the event (that) the diplomatic situation does not return to normal then… the match will be played at a neutral venue.”
The AFC has asked Pyongyang to come up with “a neutral venue” by April 14.
“If North Korea cannot find a neutral venue, we will find one for them.”
“Pyongyang will also have to provide details of “all the security guarantees for spectators, fans, media”, he added.