Malaysia to Play World Cup Qualifier Match Against Palestine in Hebron

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The Palestinian team plays against United Arab Emirates in a World Cup qualifying match in Al-Ram, September 8, 2015.Credit: Reuters

REUTERS - Malaysia will proceed to play next week's World Cup qualifier in Palestine but have the option to withdraw upto 24 hours before arriving in Hebron if safety becomes an issue, the country's sports minister said on Wednesday.

Malaysia had written to FIFA three times to request the Nov. 12 Group A match be moved to a neutral venue after a month of violence in the Palestinian territories but minister Khairy Jamaluddin said the fixture would now go ahead as planned.

"I am confident that they can go to Palestine. I have communicated with the Palestinian ambassador to Malaysia and he has given his assurance of safety for our team in Hebron," he told reporters in Kuala Lumpur.

"I, myself, have received a personal assurance from the Palestinian ambassador and he will personally accompany our team from the border to the stadium.

"He said the Palestinian government will facilitate our team's passage through checkpoints controlled by the Israeli regime," Khairy added.

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