The Argentina Football Association (AFA) said Thursday the national team will play two friendlies in the United States in March after China cancelled matches in a spat over a Lionel Messi no-show in Hong Kong.

The world champions will play El Salvador in Philadelphia on March 22 and Nigeria in Los Angeles four days later, the AFA said on its website.

They were meant to play Nigeria in Hangzhou and African champions Ivory Coast in Beijing, but these matches were cancelled after Argentina captain Messi did not play in a match on February 4 -- taken by China as a political snub.

The eight-time Ballon d’Or winner is idolized by fans in China but stayed on the bench during Inter Miami’s 4-1 win in a pre-season tour match against a Hong Kong select XI.

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