Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin has asked Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) and the Foreign Ministry to handle matters in regards to sending the Harimau Malaya squad to Pyongyang to face North Korea in the 2019 Asian Cup qualifying round in June.
Khairy Jamaluddin reportedly said that his team will serve as a mediator for this issue, but believes that the responsible organizations should take charge of solving the problem.
“I will now hand this matter to FAM to discuss with the Foreign Ministry. This decision must be made by both of the parties,” he said at a sponsorship event as quoted by Berita Harian.
“This is a diplomatic situation and I am not the right person to handle it.
Meanwhile, FAM have stated their intentions of not sending the national team to North Korea on June 8, and North Korea have denied requests to play the match on a neutral ground.
The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) have approached both parties with regards to their intentions and diplomatic issues, and will announce their decision within the next two weeks. It is very likely that the match will be played in Pyongyang despite protests from Malaysia.