Friday, 12 May 2017 : Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) president Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim is not in favour of sending the national team to Pyongyang for the 2019 Asian Cup qualifying Group B match against North Korea on June 8.
Tunku Ismail, who is also the Johor Crown Prince, feels that the safety of the Malaysian players comes first.
“As president of FAM, I view things seriously when it comes to the safety of our national players and officials. It is difficult for me to allow them to travel to Pyongyang due to security reasons,” said Tunku Ismail in a statement posted on the FAM website yesterday.
The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) had announced on Monday their decision to play the match as scheduled in Pyongyang since there was no travel restriction issued by the Malaysian government.
Tunku Ismail said he will let the government and Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin decide whether the Harimau Malaya should go ahead with the game in Pyongyang.
North Korea were supposed to host the Group B game at the Kim Il-sung Stadium in Pyongyang on March 28.
But FAM sought AFC’s permission to play the match at a neutral venue because of the diplomatic crisis caused by the assassination of Kim Jong-nam, the estranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (KLIA2) on Feb 13.
Tunku Ismail admitted that FAM could face sanctions and fines by AFC if they decide not to play the game in Pyongyang.
Source : Internet