KUALA LUMPUR: The Asian Football Confederation hopes it had come up with a neutral venue solution to resolve the dispute over Asian Cup Group B qualifying ties between North Korea and Malaysia.
The original tie was postponed firstly because of political tensions between the two countries and subsequently because of a ban by the Malaysian government on its citizens travelling to North Korea.
The AFC has decided that both matches between the two countries will be played at the same neutral venue, with North Korean home match taking place on November 10 and the return fixture – Malaysia’s home game – on November 13.
A suitable neutral venue has yet to be designated.
AFC general secretary Dato’ Windsor John said: “We are pleased that the two Member Associations, after much discussion, have been agreeable to this arrangement.
“Playing the games in this way, and in this order, helps us protect the sporting principles of the Asian Cup final qualifying round.”
The only risk would be if the North Korean government decided that the original fixture schedule should be honoured and order its federation to withdraw from competition.