An Asian Cup qualifier between Malaysia and North Korea has been postponed a second time to October due to security concerns, with the venue still to be decided, Asian football’s governing body said Wednesday.
The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) had scheduled the match for June 8 in Pyongyang but said in a statement that it should be postponed “because of the geo-political tension on the Korean Peninsula”.
“The game will now be re-scheduled for the next best available Fifa match-day which is Thursday, October 5, 2017,” the statement said. “The AFC will closely monitor the safety and security position in coming months.”
The venue will be decided after an AFC Cup match in Pyongyang between North Korean club Kigwancha SC and Erchim FC of Mongolia on May 31, as well as the AFC Under 23 Championship qualifiers also in the North Korean capital from July 19-23.
“After those matches, the AFC will make a decision of the venue for the AFC Asian Cup Qualifier on October 5, 2017,” the statement added. Hamidin Mohamad Amin, Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) secretary-general, said that the group welcomes “the wise move” by AFC to postpone the match again.
“I thank AFC and in particular its secretary-general Windsor John for making a good decision.” FAM President Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim last week said he was worried about players being deliberately poisoned if their qualifier goes ahead in Pyongyang.