Oh, how quickly things can change. Less than a fortnight ago, East Mucurapo Secondary were one of three schools to escape relegation from the Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) Premier Division on the final day of the season.
Trinidad and Tobago National Under-17 player, Jesse Williams, scored twice in a 2-1 win over Fyzabad Secondary on 26 October 2016, which should have secured Mucurapo’s place in the top flight of the 2017 competition.
However, a successful protest by St Benedict’s College over Mucurapo’s use of defender Abdus Ramcharan might undo the latter school’s good work on the field and could have far reaching implications on the league standings and the identities of the bottom three.
SSFL assistant secretary Gerald Elliot Elliot explained the matter.
“[Mucurapo] were brought before the disciplinary committee for having used a player, who at the point in time was thought to be a repeater,” Elliot told Wired868. “But then it was discovered that the boy is in Form 6. However, contrary to our Rules and Regulations, based on the overtures of the principal, the Ministry [of Education] allowed the boy to go into Form 6 with only three subjects, where he now has to focus on writing the other two subjects probably in January.
“Our rules clearly state that for you to play the football and entering Form 6, you must have a minimum of four subjects. So it is on that basis the committee ruled the player was ineligible to participate as a player in the league.”
St Benedict’s were the immediate beneficiaries.
“The team which brought forward the protest, which was St Benedict’s College, were awarded the game,” said Elliot. “Mucurapo had won 2-1. So now St Benedict’s will benefit with three points and three goals.”
As it turned out, Benedict’s beat the drop on the final day of the season. The awarded points means that the southern outfit will swap places with the Mucurapo Road school with St Benedict’s and Mucurapo now finishing in 10th and 11th place respectively in the 15-team table.
However, it gets messier since Ramcharan featured in more than one game for Mucurapo this season.
“[The SSFL] is now in the process of checking the referees’ reports to see if there are any other games which he had played in,” said Elliot. “And the decision will then be carried forward based on what the results of those games were.”
And the result of that SSFL probe could affect the outcome of the competition from top to bottom. Mucurapo could suddenly find themselves relegated. And they are not the only ones, as San Juan North Secondary look suddenly vulnerable.
Mucurapo manager Jimmy Arthur confirmed that they have already appealed the SSFL disciplinary committee’s decision, though.
Was the East Mucurapo management staff aware that the player did not have the number of passes required to play in the SSFL?
“We had discussions pertaining to that and we have made a decision on how we are going forward,” Arthur told Wired868. “So as it stands we are treating with that. We hope that it is dealt with in a timely manner.”
East Mucurapo head coach, Dale Saunders—who also coaches two-time Pro League champions Central FC—did not sound as confident as his team’s manager.
Saunders confirmed that Ramcharan, a slim but dogged defender, was a regular in his squad this season.
“I didn’t know we used a player who was ineligible,” said Saunders. “I thought every player we registered was legal. I was surprised that the player was used against the rules. I was just waiting to hear the outcome of the meeting.”
For now, the SSFL is awaiting for its appeal committee to rule before considering the possible implications to the disciplinary committee’s verdict.
“Since there is an appeal we did not want to go public as yet,” Elliot told Wired868. “We said we’ll let the process take its course. Once the appeal committee rules in favour of the decision of the disciplinary committee, then we would go to the next step of doing the sanctioning.”
Arthur suggested that Ramcharan could represent Mucurapo in Intercol action tomorrow against Diego Martin East. Elliot insisted otherwise.
It could end in tears for Mucurapo, who once fielded Trinidad and Tobago stars like Kevin Molino, Joevin Jones, Khaleem Hyland and ex-2006 World Cup forward Cornell Glen.
Mucurapo played in the inaugural Premier Division season in 2014 but were relegated—despite winning the National Intercol title that year. They bounced right back up to the top flight in 2016.
But, if the SSFL appeals committee endorses the decision of the disciplinary committee, they will go right back down to the Championship Division again.
And what will it do for the rest of the SSFL top flight?
Shiva Boys Hindu College won the Premier Division with a record 37 points. But they were held to a goalless draw by East Mucurapo. If Ramcharan played and Shiva Boys are awarded the win, the Penal-based school will move up to 39 points from a possible 42—surely a total that would not be easily overhauled.
There will be more emotion amongst the bottom four clubs, though.
Twelfth placed San Juan North defeated Mucurapo, so their points total would remain unchanged at 11. However, 13th placed Queen’s Royal College drew goalless with Mucurapo while 14th placed Pleasantville Secondary and table proppers Fatima College both lost to the school under investigation.
If the SSFL rules against East Mucurapo and he is found to have played against the three aforementioned teams, then Pleasantville would move to 13 points and 11th place while Fatima and QRC would end with 12 points each. And the three goals awarded to the victors would give Fatima a superior goal differential to the “Royalians” by a solitary item.
It would mean that East Mucurapo, San Juan North and QRC would be relegated, rather than—as it currently stands—Fatima, Pleasantville and QRC.
Today’s Championship Division Big 5 results confirmed promotion for Carapichaima East Secondary, Trinity College East and Speyside High School. Suddenly, there are question marks as to which schools that trio will replace.
SSFL Premier Division standings [At present]
(Tabulated as Played-Won-Drew-Lost-Goals For-Goals Against-Points)
10. East Mucurapo 14-4-3-7-13-19-15
11. St Benedict’s 14-3-3-8-7-21-12
12. San Juan North 14-3-2-9-21-24-11
13. QRC 14-2-4-8-8-20-10
14. Pleasantville 14-2-4-8-12-27-10
15. Fatima College 14-2-3-9-15-27-9
SSFL Premier Division standings [If Mucurapo are penalised for all their results]
(Tabulated as Played-Won-Drew-Lost-Goals For-Goals Against-Points)
10. St Benedict’s 14-4-3-7-9-19-15
11. Pleasantville 14-3-4-7-14-24-13
12. Fatima College 14-3-3-8-18-26-12
13. QRC 14-3-3-8-11-20-12
14. San Juan North 14-3-2-9-22-23-11
15. East Mucurapo 14-0-0-14-0-42-0
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Let Fatima stay down them play shit
Mr Liburd did you get an idea of how long the appeal committee may take to come to a decision on this issue?
We cannot state definitively yet. But Roneil Walcott should have an update within a day or two at the worst.
still wondering how Pres Sando beat St Marys 9-0 to end up second in the league!
I was told that St Mary’s gave their substitutes a run out. We did not attend that match so I cannot confirm.
if the verdict stands the only team to lose from all this is san jaun north , ill be delighted if my old school Pleasantville can benefit from this but it will be unfair to san juan because its not their fault , I WOULD SUGGEST A PLAYOFF FOR THE TWO SPOTS THAT WILL BE LEFT VACANT . THAT WAY IT WILL BE FAIR TO EVERYONE
Veno, the Pres drubbing was because of St.Mary’s fielding a 2nd string team having nothing to gain (being out of championship contention) and nothing to lose (being far from the relegation zone). It appears that they decided to give the subs and juniors “ah run” as it was their last game of the season.
Pres hopefully had no control over which players took the field in front of them so ran riot. Obviously, these tactics by the Saints padded the Pres Goal Difference that would have been more respectable had St. Mary’s fielded a full strength team.
The impact of this meant that although Naps and Pres finished with the same number of points and with Naps winning the head to head match up 2-0, the largely superior goal difference Pres were gifted allowed them automatic qualification to the SSFL Super Cup.
Perhaps the Archdiocese wanted a Catholic School represented in the Cup or St. Mary’s were tired from the rigours of the campaign? Who knows as we can only speculate but irrefutably the Saints are no minnows.
idk this seems lil fishy..
Is is documented somewhere that this is the procedure for dealing with an illegal player? Just wondering…Seems to me that if a team puts forward an “illegal player” as part of the playing squad then the team should be disqualified. Now that they are “checking” to see which matches the lad played….is is that there are plans to pull someone out of the relegation zone? When did St Benedict’s register their protest? At the end of the season? To what end since this in no way affects them? Would be great if it’s just for the sake of doing the right thing…hmmmm
Greater issue is the number of footballers in Form 6 on paper only just to “play ball”. No work getting done…and several schools have been doing this for years… Even more, they often do not have the required CSEC passes to truly enter any 6 th Form and cannot cope with the academic rigours of Form 6…but then they are not there do do work…right! What about the ones who come back to Lower 6 just for the September – December term and are gone as soon as “football season” ends…Nothing new in any of this…and so much more going on for the sake of what? Bragging rights?
Michael alyuh still thiefing lol
Mickel Walkes look thing
I see it
Men go feel sick. I guess winning 6-0 ain’t go mean nothing . See how Peter pay for all .
who win 6-0
Terrel Mmg boss and mr solomon……i have 1 question……how does one read an article where Benedicts is the school that lodged the ONLY complaint so far and yet you can talk about this being done to save “north school…..and Fatima”? …..smh….common sense getting more and more uncommon yes
Look bachannal…..Kerry Lynch Arlon James Candice Simone Barrow….smdh
I hope the administration at Mucurapo would also be reprimanded for this. Bloody dishonest!
I could understand you lost so you getting your 3 points and 3 goals but why is the team that draw not benefiting. QRC should protest to get full points .
Hoping Shiva Boys is not in that racket , that will turn the school football upside down .
Was this boi?? they trying f**k we up boi Renaldo Prescott just to save Fatima and them ??
I endorse Earl Best’s sentiments and Lasana the SSFL can mitigate this by simply requesting, prior to the start of the season, a MoE or School Stamped Transcript of grades attained by all players on the roster registered by the respective teams.
It is not difficult for a school’s administration to use Microsoft Excel to tabulate the academic credentials on one sheet then validate such with the transcripts. This would idemnify both school and SSFL from future protests on the account of player eligiblity. Perhaps we may see this being a mandatory requirement by the SSFL going forward?
Well that is bacchanal.
School circumvent process just to satisfy this kid playing football ?
Wonder if Principal and staff will receive further cross examination on the issue
Lol now how did my Alma mater get that info about the illegal player. Well done Benedicts. Would be great to see Pleasantville play another season of top tier football. Both schools dear to my heart
Derrel Murrien that bad
U do not need 4 passes to do 6 form.
Did he tell u d school?
Yes. But I honestly forgot. I think it was a central school. But can’t remember.
How many do you need?
5 and if u have 2’s or 3’s it must have A in the profile. POS District office aĺlow that?
Well, something for the MoE to investigate I guess.
POS SS3 that is where it needs to start.
Thanks for clarifying that Joann. I am still sitting here confused as to how they can allow these students to be in form 6 let alone play ball also.
It seems like Trinidad and Tobago needs to rethink what student-athlete means. Then again, depending on the school/ which player involved it was always athlete first!
I want somebody to go look for these footballers in January. Tell me how much of them can be found in a classroom.
Lasana Liburd that would be a good article to follow up on. Just saying!
Lol. Exercise in futility. There was school in central who had a cricketer enrolled. They discovered–with photographic evidence–that the “schoolboy cricketer” had a full-time job as a construction worker.
They moved to penalise the school and the principal produced a piece of paper to show the boy never missed a day of school!
I’m just not prepared at present to dedicate the amount of resources I would need to prove that dozens of footballers are in class. Or at least I just haven’t the heart. Because it is so depressing.
Was that school Caps?
Lasana Liburd don’t make me lose more sleep tonight please. Yuh making that up man!
Lol. Dennis, it is a secondary schools sport administrator who told me that story. They had a photo of the boy in a hardhat but it could not compete with his stellar attendance record from the principal.
Another Tobago team joining the league Lasana Liburd…hopefully Benedict’s gets a game across there so I could jump across lol….and this is an interesting turn of events….for sure SAN Juan would appeal
On what grounds can San Juan appeal? On the grounds that they don’t want to be relegated?! Hahaha
It is tough though.
Yes extremely tough….I can sympathize with them…but I’d be glad to welcome another south school in d form of Pville back into the fold
I like the vibes of PVille and will be keeping an eye on the team next year .
Lol. Allyuh southerners eh. Trinity East coming anyway. And for the first time Tobago will have two schools. Hope we can go cover Speyside v Signal Hill next season.
I like the work Kyle small doing at pville tbh n well south have to show where the best players are lol….but I’m glad Tobago getting two teams….just to get sick leave now when Benedict’s playing there ? VVachel ‘tallo’ Thompson
Can fatima really dodge the axe for the 3rd straight year? Lmao
Forget the matter of fielding an “illegal” player.
We should be talking about only needing 4 passes to get into form 6 now??? Don’t recall that back in my days!
If so, says a lot for our education system now. Sad!
I got into form 6 with 4 passes and one basic … was given till January to complete the basic as general which I did successfully and went on to achieve passes in all 4 a level subjects …
Question were you a footballer?
Bacchanal. San Juan North would be royal screwed… And what an escape that would be for Fatima!
That Fatima jumbie strong. lol. It refuses to be defeated.
Hahaha. To move from bottom of the table to safety on a technicality? Wow.
Wow…this is very interesting
Hassan, cross your fingers! Lol
Breds….hahaha ….dont think they that fortunate…..but how you find that out to break it on a Sunday……you really good …yes….hahaha
And that contingency planned might end up saving Pleasantville and Fatima. Nice one coachman. 🙂
what is the criteria to go into form 6
Six passes apparently. Right Joann Charles?
well boy lasana it have real men in form 6 with 3 passes and here the 3 passes pe food and nutrition integrated science
Hahaha. Well, the SSFL is supposed to investigate them too.
Nah. Joann works with Ministry of Education and she says that warrants an investigation.
lasana you know that racket going on long time back in the compre days gustine bourg arima eldo muco and king malick
Real plenty skool do dah to like prez and north and othera
Maybe contingency plan as they were on the brink. Lol
..This is news? Ho hum. As old as the hills..
Lol. Well, it is certainly going to shake up the SSFL once the appeals committee comes to the same conclusion as the disciplinary committee.
..LONG overdue .
Brian Jordan and Jomo I. Johnson and the gang have a great spying network perhaps.
There’s always high possibility of breaches that slip through the crack annually…especially in our system.
How did Benedict’s find out though ?
There must be…where him ? Tell the man open a fb account na…geez
This does happen when certain prestigious schools in the North can’t stand relegation so they merge with other schools to get the job done in a smart way
Eh? I don’t understand how anybody but Mucurapo is responsible here.
Most confusing comment for the day yes…
For me, the question that arises is this “Does the League check on these things? If there had been no protest, would all of these now to-be-adjusted results have stood?
That seems somehow wrong if the answer is yes.
And, of course, the other derivative question is this: Are Mucurapo the only school indulging in questionable practices or are they the only school NOW REVEALED to be so acting?
The question is likely to remain moot. And SSFL officials mute.
Excellent question for sure. The SSFL would have to consider if they have the resources to check eligibility of all players.