No Yemen friendly for Pan-gon’s men, but PNG will step in

PETALING JAYA: The Harimau Malaya’s Tier 1 friendly match against Yemen, originally slated for June 20 at the Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin Stadium in Kuala Terengganu, has been cancelled.

The Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) confirmed Yemen’s withdrawal from the match, citing the lack of several main players who are part of the Under-23 team competing in the West Asia Championship in Iraq.

FAM secretary general Noor Azman Rahman said Papua New Guinea will replace Yemen for the friendly match at the same venue on June 20.

“Harimau Malaya’s scheduled friendly match against Yemen had to be called off after we received a letter from the Yemen Football Association yesterday (May 30),” said Azman.

“The late cancellation forced us to look for a replacement as soon as possible. It wasn’t easy as most of the countries are engaged in other international friendlies during this period.

“However, Papua New Guinea have agreed to play us at Sultan Mizan Stadium on the same date.”

Papua New Guinea are ranked No. 159, two rungs lower than Yemen who are at No. 157 while Malaysia are at No. 138.

South Korean Kim Pan-gon’s squad will have another Tier 1 friendly against Solomon Islands, who are ranked higher at No. 134, at Sultan Mizan Stadium on June 14.

The friendlies are part of Malaysia’s preparations for the Asia Cup in Qatar from Jan 12-Feb 10 where they are in a tough Group D with South Korea, Jordan and Bahrain.

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