This was done to accommodate the five African teams that will participate at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in June.
The Nigerian FA president Amaju Pinnick submitted a proposal to the African football governing body to allow them time to adequately prepare for the global showpiece in Russia, without the pressure of playing crucial matches in the build-up.
Super Eagles spokesperson Toyin Ibitoye revealed the news on his Twitter feed on Thursday, adding that all five continental representatives will be allowed to play friendlies rather than qualifiers during the scheduled international break.
Top source reveals that African teams to the World Cup will now have the March 2018 FIFA international days for friendly games after @CAF_Online exco approved @PinnickAmaju’s proposal for 2019 AFCON qualifiers fixed for that period moved to October 2018.— Oluwatoyin Ibitoye (@Toyin_Ibitoye) November 16, 2017
Nigeria, Morroco, Tunisia, Egypt and Senegal are the five African teams that have qualified for the World Cup, and will all play their qualifiers in October.
The Super Eagles have already lost their opening AFCON qualifier against Bafana Bafana, who picked up a stunning 2-0 victory in Uyo in June this year.
Meanwhile, Bafana's qualifier at home against Libya, who currently top the group with a superior goal difference, is expected to go ahead as scheduled.