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.
Meanwhile, Egyptian Amr Fahmy was named Confederation of African Football (CAF) general secretary Friday, following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather.
Mourad Fahmy filled the post between 1961 and 1982, when his son Mustapha took over and held the position until joining FIFA as director of competitions seven years ago.
Amr Fahmy, 34, succeeds Moroccan Hicham El Amrani, who quit last March after CAF president Issa Hayatou of Cameroon was voted out of power with Malagasy Ahmad Ahmad taking over.
El Amrani was a close ally of Hayatou, who ruled CAF for 29 years.
The CAF general secretary is responsible for the day-to-day running of the 60-year-old Cairo-based organisation, which governs football in Africa.
Fahmy joins CAF from France-based Lagardere Sports, where he was director of operations for Africa.
He will have two deputies former Ghana international Tony Baffoe (football/development) and Moroccan Essadik Alaoui (administration/finance).