Argentina to play exhibition against Costa Rica instead of Nigeria in Los Angeles on March 26

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Lionel Messi's Argentina will play Costa Rica rather than Nigeria in an exhibition on March 26 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, the latest change for a match that has switched location and opponent.

The World Cup champion originally was to face Nigeria at Hangzhou and Ivory Coast at Beijing during a tour of China from March 18-26. That tour was canceled after Lionel Messi didn’t play at Inter Miami’s preseason game in Hong Kong. Argentina last week announced matches against El Salvador on March 22 at Philadelphia’s Lincoln Field and Nigeria four days later in Los Angeles.

The Argentina Football Association said Tuesday the latest change was caused by administrative problems with visas.

Messi said before Miami’s friendly against a local all-star team in Hong Kong on Feb. 4 that he had a groin injury, and his absence sparked spectator anger. He played three days later in Tokyo in an exhibition against Vissel Kobe.

Argentina also has friendlies against Ecuador on June 9 at Chicago’s Soldier Field and Guatemala five days later at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland. The defending world and South American championopens the Copa América against Canada or Trinidad and Tobago on June 20 at Atlanta, then plays Chile five days later at East Rutherford, New Jersey, and Peru on June 29 at Miami Gardens, Florida.


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