AFC postpones Malaysia v North Korea tie in Pyongyang

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The match has been postponed because of geopolitical tensions, says the Asian Football Confederation.

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) had rescheduled the match for 8 June but has been "forced to reconsider" and has set a new date of 5 October.

Diplomatic relations between the countries soured following the assassination of Kim Jong Nam, the estranged elder half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, at klia2 in February.

"I'm very concerned about the safety assurance regarding the accommodation provided and the food", Tunku Ismail posted on the FAM's Facebook page last week.

"The AFC will closely monitor the safety and security position in coming months as well as the AFC Cup match between Kigwancha SC (North Korea) against Erchim FC (Mongolia) to be played on May 31 as well as the AFC Under-23 Championship qualifiers with Group G to be hosted in Pyongyang from July 19 to 23".

'Another big concern is the issue of refereeing because if there are decisions going against the North Koreans, there is the possibility that the safety of match officials will be affected and that will surely put them under pressure,' posted Tunku Ismail on the Football Association of Malaysia's Facebook page.

"After those matches, the AFC will make a decision of the venue for the AFC Asian Cup Qualifier on October 5, 2017", the statement went.

The venue of the match will again be decided by AFC, after a number of matches and competitions that are scheduled to take place in North Korea. "We respect this decision of the AFC".

This comment came a few days after North Korea tested its latest missile, described by experts as the most successful so far, potentially capable of carrying a huge nuclear warhead.