Malaysia bans its citizens from travelling to North Korea, citing rising tensions

30 September, 2017, 01:53 | Author: Gregory Stephens
  • Malaysia to ban citizens from visiting North Korea

The ban also covers the Malaysian soccer team's trip to Pyongyang for an Oct 5 match, deputy foreign minister Rizal Merican Naina Merican said.

The foreign ministry released a statement this morning announcing the travel ban, adding that it was until further notice.

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC), said in a statement yesterday, that they have chose to postpone the Oct 5 match in Pyongyang after being informed by the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs had issued a travel ban on Malaysians visiting North Korea.

FAM general secretary Datuk Hamidin Mohd Amin said they had informed AFC that the national team would be unable to travel to Pyongyang due to the directive from the Foreign Ministry.

Malaysia is one of its few remaining diplomatic partners in the world even though bilateral tensions briefly escalated after the North Korean leader's estranged half brother was killed at the Kuala Lumpur airport in February.

"The AFC will now refer the matter to the appropriate committees to decide on the future status of this match".

Malaysia's Portuguese coach Nelo Vingada, who has failed to win any of his four games in charge, will now focus on the Asian Cup qualifier away to Hong Kong on October 10. It is not now clear whether they will be affected by this travel ban.

The search for a suitable venue for Malaysia's Asian Cup qualifier against North Korea has intensified following the Malaysian government's imposition of a travel ban that has thrown more doubt on the controversial fixture.

The regional body said it made a decision to postpone the match after the Football Association of Malaysia told it of the travel ban.

The Malaysians are bottom of Group B with one point, while North Korea are in second spot on two points, with both nations having played two games.



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