North Korea-Malaysia match postponed amid diplomatic tension
The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has postponed Malaysia's Asian Cup qualifier against North Korea on March 28 because of the strained relationship between the two nations' governments.
A statement from the AFC said it had made the decision amid "escalating diplomatic tension" and said a new date would be announced "in due course."
The death of Kim Jong-Nam, the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, at Kuala Lumpur International Airport on Feb. 13 led to tension between the governments over how an investigation should proceed.
Last week, the Malaysian government deemed the national team travelling to Pyongyang a safety risk and the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) sent a letter to the AFC requesting that the match be played at a neutral ground.
FAM secretary-general Datuk Hamidin Amin said in a statement after the postponement was announced: "This is the best decision for the safety of the players and officials.
"We will still carry on with a friendly against Philippines on March 22."
Nicolas Anil is a former Malay Mail and Goal.com Malaysia editor/writer who appears on BFM Radio as a football analyst. Twitter: @nicolas_anil.