BY OOI KIN FAI Follow on Twitter
Following a coordination meeting held on Tuesday between Football Association of Malaysia (FAM), Malaysia Ministry of Youth and Sports (KBS), Malaysia National Sports Council (NSC) and Malaysia Foreign Ministry - the decision to request for a neutral venue for the 2019 Asian Cup qualifiers for the match between Malaysia and North Korea will remain.
The meeting that was held in Putrajaya, Kuala Lumpur between Dato' Hamidin Amin (FAM), Dato' Lokman Hakim (KBS), Dato' Ahmad Shapawi (NSC) and Dato' S. Ganesan (Foreign Ministry) to discuss the participation of Malaysia in the match that was originally scheduled to be played in Pyongyang on 28 March 2017.
Rising tension caused by the death of North Korean national, Kim Jong Nam in Malaysia was the reason why an initial ban was put in place that denied the Malaysian football team from flying over the Pyongyang for the match in March. FAM has subsequently requested Asian Football Confederation (AFC) to have the match be played in a neutral venue.
AFC had accepted the request after finalising the details and North Korea FA were required to submit a proposal for the new venue. However, up until the given date of 14 April, North Korea had failed to provide a substitute venue - thus pushing AFC to make the decision on their own.
With the new head coach of Malaysia yet to be named as well, all parties are left in a limbo as to what will happen when June comes along. The reschedule match has been designated by AFC to be on 8 June and that is less than two months away.