SHAH ALAM: “WE still have to go there (Pyongyang) and play.”
These were the words of FAM secretary-general Datuk Hamidin Mohd Amin when responding to the concerns of some of the national players who had voiced their reservations about the level of security and safety fears on playing in North Korea on Oct 5.
Malaysia, who lost 2-1 to Lebanon and only managed a 1-1 draw against Hong Kong in two Group B matches of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Cup qualifiers, will have to make the daunting trip to Pyongyang to play North Korea.
The Harimau Malaya players are feeling apprehensive as there are also fears of war breaking out in the Korean peninsula between the North and the South following nuclear testing by the North Koreans which drew global condemnation.
The national players want FAM to take a more serious stance on their safety by closely monitoring the situation between the two Koreas.
“I have been communicating with Datuk Windsor Paul John (AFC secretary general) and it seems we will still have to play the match there as per AFC requirements,” said Datuk Hamidin yesterday.
“At this time the threat of war from North Korea is seen as nothing too serious. Malaysia’s match against the hosts will have to go ahead as planned on Oct 5
“If there are security issues, AFC will inform us and only then perhaps will there be a different course of action.
“The AFC themselves have been closely monitoring the situation from the time when the North Koreans played Lebanon and the consensus is we can go ahead with the match there.”
Translated from Harian Metro