Abuja, Nigeria: The Confederation of African Football (CAF) have agreed to move next year's Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers to October to allow the continent's World Cup finalists play friendlies in March.
Nigeria, Senegal, Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco are the five African teams for Russia 2018.
"African teams to the World Cup will now have the March 2018 FIFA international days for friendly games after the CAF executive committee approved a proposal by Nigeria for 2019 AFCON qualifiers fixed for that period moved to October 2018," said Super Eagles spokesman Toyin Ibitoye.
"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," he said.
Ibitoye said Nigeria, which would have played Seychelles in March 2018, now plan two friendlies in that period to prepare for the World Cup.