Nigeria forced to cancel friendly against South Africa

By Oluwashina OkelejiBBC Sport, Lagos
Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi
Stephen Keshi's Nigeria have been forced to cancel a friendly with South Africa

Nigeria have had to cancel a friendly against South Africa on 29 February as it clashes with their 2013 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier with Rwanda.

The dates for the matches were released on 9 December after October's draw.

"The South Africa game is off and we are working on another country for another time," Jairo Pachon of Eurodata, the NFF's match agent said.

The date is on the Fifa calendar, so both countries had hoped to invite their top players from Europe.

"You look at the available dates and you have to admit that it will be very hard to get available countries to commit to a friendly for now," Pachon added.

The cancellation will come as a major setback for both coaches - Stephen Keshi of Nigeria and Pitso Mosimane of South Africa.

Neither country qualified for the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations, which start next month in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea.

South Africa qualify automatically as hosts for the 2013 edition, after taking over from Libya, who will now organise the 2017 competition.

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