- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 15, 2017

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) - 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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