Malaysia’s national soccer team has canceled two friendly under-22 matches with Myanmar, in protest against the Southeast Asian nation’s bloody crackdown on ethnic Rohingya Muslims, a team spokesman said on Thursday (Dec 1, 2016).
Muslim-majority Malaysia has been increasingly critical of Myanmar’s handling of violence in northern Rakhine state that has sent hundreds of people fleeing across the border to Bangladesh, amid allegations of abuses by security forces.
The violence is the most serious bloodshed in Rakhine since communal clashes in 2012 that killed hundreds.
Referring to the cancellation of the games set for later this month, the spokesman told Reuters, “It was a political decision because of the Rohingya issue.”
He declined to be identified because the topic is a sensitive one.