New June date for postponed NKorea-Malaysia soccer game

A CCTV surveillance camera is attached by the entrance gate at the North Korean Embassy in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Monday, March 13, 2017. Malaysia's health minister said Monday that the government will give relatives of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's estranged half brother two to three weeks to claim his body before deciding what to do with it. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)

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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