Why Chesterfield's match at Southend United this weekend could be in doubt

Chesterfield are due to travel to Roots Hall this Saturday, (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)
Chesterfield are due to travel to Roots Hall this Saturday, (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)

The table-topping Spireites are due to take on the 16th-placed Shrimpers at Roots Hall on Saturday in front of the TNT Sports cameras (3pm).

But the Shrimpers have had three players called-up for international duty which rules them out of playing against Town. At this stage it is unclear what the National League rules are on this subject, but the threshold in the Football League is three. The DT has asked the National League for a comment.

The call-ups would be an issue for most teams in the division, but especially Southend, who already have a threadbare squad because of the ongoing off-field problems at the club.

The players set to be missing are Daniel Kanu, Noor Husin and Mauro Vilhete. Striker Kanu, 19, who is on loan from Charlton Athletic, scored four goals in a 5-0 win against Solihull Moors last month. He has been called-up for the first time by Sierra Leone. Midfielder Mauro Vilhete, 30, has also been called-up by São Tomé and Príncipe's national team for the first time. And fellow midfielder Noor Husin, 26, has been selected by Afghanistan. However, Husin and many other Afghan players have been boycotting international matches over how their national body is spending funds received from FIFA. So it remains to be seen whether he will be available on Saturday or not.

Husin told the Guardian: “The last straw came at the last camp when a big group of us decided that we’d had enough – 18 players got together and said if we’re going to move forward, we have to put a stop to this. We really want change. We want to help domestic players because the money they are getting from Fifa is not being used in the right way. We have the worst flights possible and we have to stay in substandard hotels. We’ve come together as a group because we want football in Afghanistan to move forward and we believe that it’s not going to move forward with the people that are in charge at the moment.”