AFC: We have received FAM’s request for neutral venue

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) have released a statement on their official site confirming that they have received Football Association of Malaysia (FAM)’s request for a neutral venue for the upcoming AFC Asian Cup fixture.

However, they also noted that they will need more time to investigate the matter and seek further clarification, before they can decide on whether or not to provide us with a neutral venue.

The Harimau Malaysia squad were scheduled to fly to Pyongyang to play North Korea in the group B Asian Cup qualifiers on the 28th of March. The match is to be held at the Kim Il Sung stadium.

However, the fixture raised safety concerns since Kim Jong-Nam, the brother of North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-Un, got assassinated at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport on the 13th of February.

Since then, FAM have made requests from AFC to reschedule the match at a neutral venue, considering the escalating tension, but there was no news from AFC up until this statement was released yesterday.


Photo: Twitter

“The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has received a request from the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) to have the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 final round qualifier against DPR Korea, scheduled for Pyongyang on March 28, 2017, played at a neutral venue.” the statement read.

“The AFC will seek further clarification and information on the request in order for the decision-making process to take place. Until that clarification is received the AFC will make no further comment.”

The Malaysian government was also forced to intervene as they were not comfortable with our national football squad flying over to North Korea given the strained relationship between the two countries at the moment.

North Korea have also released a statement today saying that Malaysians in North Korea will not be allowed to leave the country.

Now, if this doesn’t spur AFC to give us that neutral venue, we don’t know what will!

Photo: BBC

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