SSFL awaits green light for 2020 season; Wallace to address executive on Fifa fight

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Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) teams have the okay to resume training, after the relaxation of Covid-19 restrictions. However, the amber light remains in place as far as the 2020 season goes.

This afternoon, SSFL general secretary Azaad Khan advised members that they are still awaiting the go-ahead from Minister of Education Anthony Garcia for the upcoming season, which would generally start in September.

Photo: Presentation (San F’do) attacker Jardel Sinclair (bottom) is congratulated by teammates after his match winning goal against San Juan North in the National Intercol final at the Ato Boldon Stadium on 4 December 2019.
(Copyright Allan V Crane/CA-Images/Wired868)

“Please be advised that the minister of education has given permission for schools to begin football training,” stated Khan, via a press statement. “However, the minister of education has advised that he will have to seek the advice of the minister of health about permission for the season.”

Wired868 tried to reach Khan for further comment without success.

The SSFL executive committee is carded to meet next Monday morning at the Carapichaima East Secondary school with several crucial agenda items tabled.

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The schools football officials are due to discuss the upcoming season as well as league sponsorship and zonal reports. And there should also be a statement from William Wallace, who is simultaneously the president of the SSFL and Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA), and a report on the ‘TTFA/Fifa dispute’.

Wallace was elected TTFA president on 24 November 2019 and initially said he would resign at the end of that SSFL season. However, the former Carapichaima East vice-principal subsequently said that he would ‘hold his hand’ until there is a determination in the legal tussle between the TTFA and the world governing body.

Photo: SSFL president William Wallace (far left) poses with Pleasantville Secondary team after their Girls Intercol final win over Secondary Hill Secondary at the Ato Boldon Stadium on 4 December 2018.
(Copyright Allan V Crane/CAI/Wired868)

On 17 March, Fifa general secretary Fatma Samoura—on the instruction of president Gianni Infantino—declared that Wallace and his board were stripped of their elected posts with immediate effect, as they implemented a normalisation committee in the twin island republic.

Wallace and his vice-presidents, Clynt Taylor, Susan Joseph-Warrick and Sam Phillip, challenged Fifa’s ruling in the local High Court.

In the past weeks, Wallace has been the centre of controversy after admitting to a secret deal with controversial English ‘marketing director’ Peter Miller and signing contracts with Men’s National Senior Team head coach Terry Fenwick and general secretary Ramesh Ramdhan, which included terms that were not agreed—or rejected outright—by the TTFA Board.

Wallace attempted to clear the air with a public statement last week but is now likely to face further questions from his secondary school colleagues.

The SSFL executive committee comprises of Wallace, first vice-president Phillip Fraser, second vice-president Tevon La Rose, assistant secretary administration Gerald Elliot, assistant secretary operations Laurence Seepersad and Khan, who is the general secretary and treasurer, along with a representative from each of the five zones: north, south, east, central and Tobago.

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