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Macau pull out of football qualifier in Sri Lanka

Macau have pulled out of a football World Cup qualifier set to take place in Sri Lanka this week, citing security fears following the Easter Sunday bombings.

Although Sri Lankan football authorities insisted the country was safe for international matches, the Macau Football Association said it had decided not to send a team "due to the recent terrorist attack in Sri Lanka and for the sake of the team's personal safety".

"MFA will have to put our players' personal safety as a priority. And, in the view of the fact that we cannot guarantee the safety of the team while they are in Sri Lanka and we cannot afford to take the risk to put our players' lives in danger," the association said in a statement on Saturday.

The association said it had asked FIFA, the Asian Football Confederation and Sri Lanka’s footballing authorities to rearrange the match at a neutral venue but that the request had not yet been granted.

Sri Lanka’s football federation said it hoped Macau would change their mind.