New June date for postponed NKorea-Malaysia soccer game

FILE - This May 4, 2001, file photo shows Kim Jong Nam, exiled half brother of North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un, in Narita, Japan. Kim Jong Nam, 46, was targeted Monday, Feb. 13, 2017, in the Kuala Lumpur International Airport, Malaysia, and later died on the way to the hospital according to a Malaysian government official. Malaysia’s Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi says the identity of Kim Jong Nam, who was killed last month, was confirmed with the DNA sample from one of his children. (AP Photos/Shizuo Kambayashi, File)

North Korea will play a postponed Asian Cup qualifying match against Malaysia on June 8, and must nominate a neutral venue in case diplomatic relations have not been restored

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — North Korea will play a postponed Asian Cup qualifying match against Malaysia on June 8, and must nominate a neutral venue in case diplomatic relations have not been restored.

Tensions between the countries escalated in the fallout from the death of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's half-brother in Kuala Lumpur.

The Asian Football Confederation says June 8 is the next date free after the March 28 game was called off. It opens both teams' program in a four-nation 2019 Asian Cup qualifying group.

Though Pyongyang is the preferred venue, the AFC set North Korea an April 14 deadline to nominate a neutral city.

The AFC says if the first game is on neutral territory then the return, scheduled Nov. 14 in Malaysia, will also be "to preserve sporting values."

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