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No Boycott, Harimau Malaysia Told To Play On In Yangon

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Putrajaya – The Cabinet has decided that the Harimau Malaysia squad should continue to compete in the AFF Suzuki Cup tournament, said Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin, today.

When met by reporters, he said the government would seek other ways to oppose the atrocities against the ethnic Rohingyas in Myanmar and it would not involve any sporting event.

Khairy said any sanction or further action taken over the issue would be determined by the Foreign Ministry.

“We’re very concerned about what’s happening there, but we’re also mindful of sanctions by FIFA. We feel that we should pursue other avenues in raising our concerns and asking for action to be taken.

“The Cabinet has decided that the national football squad should complete their matches in Yangon, while the diplomatic action will be announced by the Foreign Ministry,” he said after the Cabinet meeting held at the Prime Minister’s Office, here.

Prior to this, Khairy had suggested that the national squad withdraw from the AFF Suzuki Cup competition following the latest reports on deadly attacks against the ethnic Rohingyas in the northern Rakhine region, Myanmar.

The carnage against the Rohingya Muslims, allegedly committed by the Myanmar military, has forced thousands of them to flee their villages to save their lives.

Khairy said his ministry had also not received any directive not to compete in any sports in Myanmar.

“At the moment, there is no restriction on any sporting event as the Cabinet has other options to state Malaysia’s stand (on the Rohingya issue), and further actiion will be through the Foreign Ministry,” he said.

Meanwhile, Khairy wished the national squad under chief coach Datuk Ong Kim Swee, success against hosts Myanmar in their final group B match tomorrow. – BERNAMA

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