AFC: Venue change for Asian Cup qualifier need consent from North Korea

Football Association of Malaysia secretary-general Hamidin Mohamad Amin issued a statement Monday saying that Malaysia's expulsion of North Korean Ambassador Kang Chol has "made the current situation unsafe for Malaysians to travel to North Korea for the moment".

"I have also contacted AFC secretary-general Datuk Windsor John who is now in Cambodia to inform him about FAM's request", he said. He returned to North Korea yesterday.

The Malaysia national football team have been stopped by the country's government from travelling to North Korea for their upcoming Asian Cup qualifier due to safety concerns.

Malaysia are scheduled to play their Group B qualifying match against North Korea at the Kim Il-sung Stadium in Pyongyang on March 28. In this case, the FAM agree's with the government's decision because it involves security. "Once they have submitted all the necessary info, we will make a decision", he said.

There are no changes so far regarding Malaysia's trade status with North Korea, says Second International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Ong Ka Chuan. At a news conference last week, Hamidin said he would leave it up to the Asian Football Confederation to decide whether or not to postpone the match or move it to a neutral venue.

Ties between the two governments have strained after Pyongyang protested an autopsy by Malaysian police on Kim Jong Nam, the half-brother of the North Korean dictator, who was believed murdered at low cost carrier terminal klia2 on Feb 13.

The North Koreans have informed the embassy of its decision banning all Malaysians from leaving the country.

  • Leroy Wright