By Johnny Edward: The Confederation of African Football (CAF) have approved the request made by the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) President, Amaju Pinnick, to move the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers scheduled for March next year to another date for teams through to the 2018 FIFA World Cup, Completesportsnigeria.com reports.
The 2019 AFCON qualifiers will now be played in October 2018.
Nigeria, Senegal, Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia will represent Africa at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia and are scheduled to take part in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying series.
But the teams will now use the FIFA free window in March before the World Cup in June to feature in international friendlies ahead of the Mundial.
Nigeria were scheduled to play against Seychelles in March 2018 in continuation of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers, but will now face a highly rated team in a friendly after Pinnick’s proposal was accepted.
According to the Super Eagles media officer, Toyin Ibitoye, Nigeria will play two high-profile friendlies in March, 2018 in continuation of their preparations for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
“Yes, the 2019 AFCON qualifiers have been postponed,the Super Eagles will play two grade A friendlies in March,” Ibitoye told Completesportsnigeria.com.
Ibitoye also tweeted: “Top source reveals that African teams to the World Cup will now have the March 2018 FIFA international days for friendly games after the CAF exceccutive committie approved @PinnickAmaju’s proposal for 2019 AFCON qualifiers fixed for that period moved to October 2018.
“The 2019 AFCON will now be played in June 2019, as against January, when the match schedule was announced so there is more time now for the 2019 AFCON qualifiers to be concluded.”