North Korea OK’d to host Malaysia, despite political tension
KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA — North Korea has finally been approved to host a 2019 Asian Cup qualifying match against Malaysia following political tensions between the countries.
The Asian Football Confederation says the game can go ahead in Pyongyang on June 8 after the Malaysian soccer federation confirmed it was not subject to “government travel restrictions.”
Diplomatic tensions escalated amid investigations into the death of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s estranged half-brother in Kuala Lumpur. Both countries imposed travel bans on the other’s citizens.
The original March 28 qualifier was postponed and a neutral venue sought.
The game opens both teams’ program in a four-nation Asian Cup qualifying group that also includes Lebanon and Hong Kong.