KJ wants assurance on players’ safety
SPORTS Minister Khairy Jamaluddin wants assurance that the national team will “arrive, play and return safely” from Pyongyang, North Korea.
Khairy was commenting on the Asian Football Confederation’s (AFC) decision on Monday to let North Korea play Malaysia in Pyongyang in an Asian Cup qualifier.
“There are no travel restrictions, so we hope North Korea can ensure the safety of our team,” said Khairy.
“It’s not because of the tensions that exist now but because they are facing a series of issues involving other countries.”
Since the travel ban was lifted in late March after a deal was struck involving the return of Kim Jong-nam’s body to North Korea, the AFC said the match will take place in North Korea’s capital on June 8.
“I just hope that our team arrive safely, play their match and return safely to Malaysia and that their safety is assured,” said Khairy. “When AFC made the decision, we had to comply with it.”
The game was originally scheduled for March 28 in Pyongyang but it was postponed due to security concerns.
AFC had given FAM until May 8 to confirm the diplomatic status between the nations following the death of the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport on Feb 3. Farah Azharie