March 15 – The Asian Football Confederation has rescheduled the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 Final Round Qualifier between DPR Korea and Malaysia, originally scheduled for March 28, for June 8.
The fixture was called off due to the “escalating diplomatic tension between the Governments”, following the assassination of Kim Jong Nam, the estranged half-brother of Pyongyang ruler Kim Jong Un, at Kuala Lumpur International Airport on February 13.
The AFC had received a request from the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) for the match, which has been scheduled for Pyongyang, to be played at a neutral venue.
In a press release, the AFC said it therefore written to the north Koreans asking them “to nominate a neutral venue by April 14, in the event the bilateral diplomatic relations between the two countries have not returned to normal.”
The return fixture on November 14, said the AFC, would also then be held on neutral soil “to preserve sporting values and the spirit of fair play.”
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