Malaysia chief fears player poisonings during North Korea visit

Ahmad Hazwan Bakri (right) of Malaysia vies for the ball with Misagh Bahadoran of the Philippines
Malaysia (in black kit) are ranked 158 in the world by Fifa

Malaysia's football chief says he is worried his country's players could be poisoned if their Asian Cup qualifier goes ahead in North Korea's Pyongyang.

Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim wants the game to be moved to a neutral venue "for the sake of the players' safety".

The match was initially postponed during a diplomatic row over the murder of the North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un's half-brother in Malaysia.

The Asian Football Confederation says the game will go ahead on 8 June.

However, the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) has lodged an appeal against the decision, which is being considered by the Asian football's governing body.

"I'm very concerned about the safety assurance regarding the accommodation provided and the food," Tunku Ismail posted on the FAM's Facebook page. "According to the information I have received we need to bring our own food due to the possibility of sabotage.

"Another big concern is the issue of refereeing because if there are decisions going against the North Koreans, there is the possibility that the safety of match officials will be affected and that will surely put them under pressure."

Malaysia face forfeiting the game 3-0 if they refuse to play what is their first fixture in the 2019 Asian Cup's final round of qualifying.

Last month, the two countries revoked a travel ban which had prevented each other's citizens leaving.

South Korea accuses the North of masterminding the murder of Kim Jong-Nam, which was carried out using a towel soaked with nerve agent at a Kuala Lumpur airport.

Malaysian police have named several North Korean suspects.

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