October 24 – After three delays, a venue has finally been found for the neutral ground double header Asian Cup qualifiers between Malaysia and North Korea later this month.
Thailand has been selected by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) for the back-to-back fixtures between the two sides on November 10 and 13 although no stadium has yet been specified.
AFC general secretary Windsor John said move to host the two matches “has ensured that the AFC has been able to maintain the sporting integrity of the AFC Asian Cup qualifying.”
The first match is designated as North Korea’s home game and the November 13 match will be Malaysia’s home game.
Malaysia last month banned its citizens from traveling to North Korea which forced the AFC to postpone North Korea’s home leg scheduled for October 5 in Pyongyang which had already been delayed twice because of security and geo-political issues.
The AFC later ruled that in the interests of fair play, Malaysia’s “home” game also had to be on neutral ground and reports suggested the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) requested Thailand with only a short trip needed and a familiar climate.
Malaysia sit bottom of Group B on one point from three games, but two positive results against the North Koreans would put them back into contention for a place at the finals in the United Arab Emirates in 2019.
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