CHAN: CAF picks new date for Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire clash

Nigeria will now play Cote d’Ivoire between July 6 and 7.

The Confederation of African Football has announced a shift in date for the two-leg qualifying fixture for next year’s African Nations Championship between Nigeria’s Super Eagles and the Elephants of Cote d’Ivoire.

The latest roster contained in letter sent from CAF to the Nigeria Football Federation indicates that Nigeria will host their Cote d’Ivoire counterparts between July 6 and 7 in the first of a two-leg qualifying series

CAF also stated that the return leg, billed for the Ivorian capital, Abidjan, will come up between July 27 and 28.

The first leg of this qualifying fixture was earlier billed for between June 21 and 23 with the return leg in Abidjan to take place between July 6 and 7. However, Nigeria’s triumph at the Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa earlier this year made the Super Eagles eligible for the FIFA Confederations Cup Brazil 2013, which will be on between June 15 and 30.

Nigeria has never played in the African Nations Championship, which is the continental tournament for players based in the African continent.

The first edition was staged by Cote d’Ivoire in 2009 with Democratic Republic of Congo emerging champions, while Tunisia was triumphant at the second edition staged by Sudan in 2011.

The biennial competition had to give way this year after CAF moved the Africa Cup of Nations from even to odd years.

The third edition will now take place in South Africa early next year.

Next year’s showpiece will be the biggest in the competition’s history, with 16 teams to take part for the first time, double the number that took part in the first two championships.

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