Football: Pahang-Persipura's AFC Cup clash cancelled after visa row

KUALA LUMPUR (REUTERS) - Pahang's AFC Cup round of 16 clash against Persipura Jayapura was cancelled by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) late on Monday after four foreign players from the Malaysian side were denied entry into Indonesia.

Pahang blamed the crisis-hit Indonesian Football Association (PSSI) for the problems after Nigerian Dickson Nwakaema, Jamaican Damian Stewart, Pakistani Zesh Rahman and Argentinian Matias Conti were denied entry.

The club then opted to return home to Malaysia on Sunday.

"The AFC is in the process of gathering information from all relevant parties," the regional body said in a short statement. "Once the investigation is concluded, a report will be submitted to the appropriate AFC Committees for a final decision."

Pahang FA honorary-secretary Fuzeimi Ibrahim told Malaysia's New Straits Times on Monday that the required paperwork had been lodged with the Indonesians last week and had received assurances there would be no issue.

Pahang boss Fahrizal Hassan said his club should advance to the quarter-finals.

"The rule book says that we should be given a walkover, but we'll have to wait for AFC to decide on the matter," he said. "It's ludicrous to be in this situation in this modern era. We did everything we could to play against Persipura but were let down by PSSI's incompetence."

The PSSI, who have been suspended by the local government, face a Friday deadline from Fifa to resolve a row with the ministry over a row that has brought a halt to the top-flight league in the country.