Former World Cup assistant referee and lay minister, Gonzales, elected SSFL president

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Former 1998 Fifa World Cup assistant referee Merere Louis Gonzales, a retired teacher at Success RC and Mt Hope Secondary and a lay minister at the Maloney, D’Abadie and Mausica RC churches, is the new Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) president, following a resounding win in the SSFL’s virtual annual general meeting today.

Gonzales, who is the current SSFL East Zone chairman, got 56 votes while challengers Phillip Fraser and Trinity College East principal Derek West managed 26 votes each. He now replaces William Wallace at the helm, after the latter official resigned on 6 July 2020—in the midst of a legal battle with Fifa. 

Photo: East Zone chairman Merere Gonzales (second from right) presents a medal to Holy Name Convent student Charlize Hood, who was an All-Star Player for the 2019 SSFL season.
Gonzales was elected SSFL president in a virtual AGM on 15 April 2021.

“For me, this election campaign was about the 5 P’s,” Gonzales told Wired868. “And that is: proper preparation or planning prevents poor performance. That is something I always try to live by.”

Fraser, who was the SSFL first vice-president, acted as interim president for the schools body for the past 11 months. However, the retired San Juan North Secondary vice-principal and San Juan Jabloteh director choose to vacate his position as schools body vice-president to run for the top position.

In the end, he was left with neither job.

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South Zone secretary Essiel Seecharan was elected first vice-president, after defeating Tevon La Rose by 64 votes to 28. La Rose put his position as SSFL second vice-president on the line to take on Seecharan and now also ends up without an executive post.

Tobago secretary Syandene Blackman-Walsh was appointed, unopposed, to the position of SSFL second vice-president.

Photo: South Zone secretary and Point Fortin East Secondary teacher Essiel Seecharan makes a point during the SSFL’s first Stakeholders Forum at the National Cycling Centre in Couva on 24 February 2018.
Looking on (from left to right) are Norris Ferguson, Phillip Fraser, Gregory Wales, Gerald Elliot and Anthony Creed.
(Copyright Allan V Crane/CA-images/Wired868)

The other members of the current SSFL executive are: Gerald Elliot (assistant secretary—administration/assistant treasurer), Laurence Seepersad (assistant secretary—operations), and Azaad Mohammed-Khan (general secretary/treasurer).

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2 comments

  1. Congratulations to Merere Gonzales. He is a fair person that is very unbias in his approach.

    La rose and Fraser ends up like the ‘dog without a bone” story. They both held positions before and nothing exceptional was done with them together with the previous leadership. Hopefully things might look up now.

    I personally believe though those 3 long standing secretaries (Azard, Elliot and seepersad ) needs to also step aside.

    • Don’t you think you should say why?

      Simply because they have been there for a long time? You imagine that their expertise and competence is not a factor in the successful completion of year after year of SSFL football?

      Brudder! What a country! Damned if you do your job properly, damned as well if you twiddle your thimbs

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