Fyzabad are in real hot water. They have been suspended from the Secondary Schools Football League after falsified documents were tendered for two players. Should there be criminal charges laid on account of this fraud? Does this create questions about the student athlete and how he or she should be treated in terms of academic standards?
Rains wreaked havoc on the 11th round of the Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL), as the top teams failed to going with unplayable outfields all around Trinidad and Tobago.
Games between Fatima College and Presentation College, and Shiva Boys’ Hindu College and St Mary’s College were postponed because of unplayable outfields.
While the same was true of a game between, Fyzabad Secondary and Naparima College, the SSFL’s ruling suspending the former for the duration of the competition should mean that fixture is out the door.
Fyzabad were suspended after it was revealed that either the players or the school falsified Caribbean Examination Council transcripts for two students who would have otherwise ineligible for matriculation.
Shiva Boys’, Presentation College, and Naparima are all in the top four of the competition and battling for supremacy in a close race.
The tension at the top of the table in the Secondary Schools Football League is as tight as a knot built by the best scout around, as Naparima College go into today’s round of games clinging to the slimmest of leads.
While there is much tension at the top, there are also significant stressors at the bottom of the table, as Fyzabad, who have lost nine of the 10 points they earned this season, have been rocked by scandal.
Naparime supporter, Rajiv Gosine, has described the game as ‘Titan versus tin can’, and according to the words of Fyzabad coach, Brian Williams, that may be right.
“We are just trying to save [ourselves from] relegation now,” said Williams.
“This has affected the whole school and I really have to make a decision if I can continue in such an environment,” added the Trinidad and Tobago Under 20 coach.
The Presentation College Lions have had an extra day to consider how they lost leadership of the Secondary Schools Football League and how they’ll get it back.
Also resting, courtesy of the celebration of Divali, are their opponents, Fatima College, who though further down on the pecking order this season, are dangerous enough to inflict further damage on the wounded Lions.
Presentation’s hurt was inflicted upon them by defending champions, Shiva Boys’ Hindu College, who laid waste to their plans in a 3-0 route on the weekend.
Head coach Shawn Cooper is fully aware of the tight nature of the race for top spot and believes his Presentation side are now in a do-or-die scenario, even though they are just one point off the lead Naparima College hold.
According to Cooper, his players know what has to done and how it must be done.
“We’ve been fighting all season for this title, it’s now or never,” explained Cooper.
After it was revealed that Fyzabad Secondary would be docked nine of their 10 points for fielding two players with fraudulent school transcripts, new head coach Brian Williams doesn’t know if he can continue.
According to Williams, who says he took the coaching job at Fyzabad because he lives near to the school and wanted to give back, isn’t sure the working environment is tenable anymore.
“This is interfering with my reputation,” he said.
Williams has said he knew nothing of the fraud that the Secondary Schools Football League uncovered recently.
“When I came to Fyzabad, I made it clear to the teachers and the staff that I will not take any responsibility for the administrative side. The players I met there are the players I used,” he said.
Fyzabad Secondary have lost nine of the 10 points they have earned in this year’s Secondary Schools Football League after they were found to have forged examination transcripts in registering two of their players.
Fyzabad skipper, Dez Jones, and midfielder, Maurice Dick, were registered in the league as lower sixth formers with four Caribbean Examination Council (CXC), but were revealed to have two and one pass respectively.
The SSFL, has since declared that any games involving the duo will not be allowed to keep any of the points it won during those games the two played.
“[The SSFL] will deduct points from games that the boys played in and the table adjustment will go out [today],” SSFL president William Wallace told Wired868. “[Fyzabad] have accepted that and we will follow […] our guidelines.”
Naparima College are now the leaders of the Secondary Schools Football League after a 1-0 win over San Juan North Secondary at Lewis Street.
Also working in Naparima’s favour was a monster clash at the Manny Ramjon Stadium, where defending SSFL champions, Shiva Boys’ Hindu College dismissed deposed leaders of the standings, Presentation College 3-0.
Shiva, however, still remain fourth in standings after third-place St Anthony’s College pipped Trinity College East 3-2 to stay a point ahead of them.
Just three points separate the top four teams in the league.
Naparima’s victory over San Juan North created some separation between the fifth-place losers on the day, and the rest of the table, as with 18 points, they are now eight points off the pace, five behind the defending champions.