Argentina’s (un)friendly world tour gets messier and messier

February 29 – Argentina’s upcoming friendly against Nigeria in the United States has been scrapped and the world champions will instead play Costa Rica.

As the fallout from Argentina’s controversial Asian tour continues, “due to an administrative error” Nigeria have had to pull out of the eagerly awaited friendly in California on March 26.

Argentina’s other match on the tour, on March 22, is against El Salvador in Philadelphia but that too was changed was a changed fixture, with AFCON champions Ivory Coast having initially been lined up to face Lionel Messi and Co.

The World Cup champions were originally set to face Nigeria and Ivory Coast during a tour of China rather than the USA but it was called off by the Chinese authorities in protest at Messi’s no-show at another exhibition fixture in Hong Kong with his club Inter Miami.

Messi said before Miami’s friendly against a local all-star team in Hong Kong on February 4 that he had a groin injury. His absence sparked spectator anger especially when three days later he played in another friendly in Tokyo.

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