Portsmouth have refused permission for their African stars to attend pre-tournament training camps.
Nigerians John Utaka and Kanu, Ghanaian Sulley Muntari and Senegalese Papa Bouba Diop were all expected to attend their respective get-togethers before the African Cup of Nations gets underway later this month.
However, this would have ruled all four out of Saturday's FA Cup third round game with Ipswich and the club have decided to retain their services.
Fifa regulations stipulate that clubs do not have to release players for international competitions until a maximum of 14 days before the first game and as such Pompey will release the quartet on Sunday.
"They have requested them to go early but we said no," Portsmouth's chief executive Peter Storrie told The News.
"We are required by Fifa to release players 14 days before the tournament and these training camps exceed that.
"We have every right to decline their demands and that's what we have done.
"All four will now be available for the Ipswich tie.
"Their managers are probably not happy about it but our priority is with the club and we want these players to remain here as long as possible."
Storrie also revealed that the club have asked permission for the players to remain in England for even longer, but admitted that they are not expecting to receive good news.
"If you don't ask you don't get and we have asked for them to stay here longer," he said.
"We are currently in discussions with the football associations of each country in trying to achieve that.
"However, we are aware that if they allow this for one club they will have to do it for all so that may hamper our chances."