SWINDON Town’s League Two fixture away at Forest Green Rovers on Saturday will go ahead regardless of the number of players Ben Garner’s men have away on international duty.

The game was picked to be shown live on Sky Sports at the earlier time of 12pm on August 31 – a date before Swindon knew Jonny Williams, Anthony Grant, Alex Gilbert, Kaine Kesler-Hayden, and Jojo Wollacott would be called up by their respective countries.

While Swindon would ordinarily be able to postpone the game due to international call-ups, this is not the case when a game is picked for TV.

Clubs are approached before being picked for TV and asked whether they would like to feature, but they must guarantee that the game goes ahead unless extreme circumstances dictate.

It is understood that Town entered discussions with the EFL, Forest Green, and Sky Sports about postponing, but the other parties stood firm and the game will be played as agreed.

Asked in Friday’s pre-match press conference about the issue of potentially postponing the Forest Green game, Garner stated it would not be possible.

“It’s a televised game – the game cannot be called off,” said Garner.

“No matter how many players we have called up, the game has to go ahead. We could have 12 going away on international duty, we have to play the fixture.”

Grant will fly out to represent Jamaica, Jonny Williams will pull on a Wales shirt, Kaine Kesler-Hayden is rejoining the England U20 set up, while Alex Gilbert has been called up to play for Republic of Ireland U21 in European Championship qualifiers against Luxembourg and Montenegro. 

Wollacott is the final of the five players to be missing next week and beyond due to representing his country, and the Town boss revealed it has been a dream of the 25-year-old’s to pull on the Ghana shirt for a long time.

Garner did admit he is currently unsure how long his key quartet will be absent for and is hopeful of some answers later on Friday.

Garner said: “Jojo had mentioned when he first came in that he wanted to play for Ghana, so the fact that he’s been called up is testament to how well he’s done this season and the work that has been done with him. It’s fantastic for him, and his family will be very proud as well.

“The only one we know for definite (regarding length of absence) is Jonny Williams.

“We’re waiting on the final clarification on some others regarding whether they are going, and if they are for how long. That will get finalised on Friday from the respective countries.

“Once we’ve got that information, we’ll know exactly who will be here and who won’t, and if they do go away how long they’ll be away for.”