Kyrgyzstan: Fear of Myanmar Fury Disrupts Football
Kyrgyzstan has cited the possibility of public unrest over unfolding developments in Myanmar in its decision to cancel a football match against the southeast Asian nation scheduled for September 5.
Football authorities said they agreed with concerns that unrest might break out between fans in the wake of a mounting international outcry over human rights abuses against Muslims in Myanmar. The game was due to be played in the Kyrgyz capital, Bishkek.
“We do not need victims. Football isn’t politics, it isn’t religion. We support the decision of the government, because fans and other people could get hurt,” said Semetei Sultanov, president of Kyrgyzstan’s football federation.
Sultanov initially speculated that the decision to scrap the encounter might cost Kyrgyzstan its points in the Group A qualify match for the AFC Asian Cup 2019. But the Asian Football Confederation later stated it was postponing the match “to protect safety and security,” which it said “can never be compromised.”
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