Home / Volley / Local Football / ‘Naps’ win protest against Pres’ Cupid; Fatima, QRC could dodge drop but S/Juan in trouble

‘Naps’ win protest against Pres’ Cupid; Fatima, QRC could dodge drop but S/Juan in trouble

Naparima College will compete in the 2016 Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) Big Four tournament, after their successful protest against Presentation College’s use of midfielder Kori Cupid during the regular season.

Cupid, a Trinidad and Tobago National Under-20 Team defender, played for the “Pres Lions” against Naparima as well as in several other Premier Division matches.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago National Under-20 right back Kori Cupid (right) tries to keep his balance after pressure from a Turks and Caicos player during Caribbean Cup qualifying action at the Ato Boldon Stadium on 17 June 2016. T&T won 11-0. (Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago National Under-20 right back Kori Cupid (right) tries to keep his balance after pressure from a Turks and Caicos player during Caribbean Cup qualifying action at the Ato Boldon Stadium on 17 June 2016.
T&T won 11-0.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

However, after a protest by ‘Naps’, the SSFL disciplinary committee ruled that Cupid had exhausted the number of consecutive school years allowed for a footballer. And the decision could possibly lead to a startling startling change to the league standings and, in particular, the fate of the relegated three Premier Division schools.

Presentation allegedly claimed that Cupid took his SEA examination in 2009, when he passed for Trinity College (Moka). However, Naparima manager Percy Samlalsingh was able to prove that the versatile player actually joined Trinity school in 2008, which makes this his ninth year of secondary school.

“[Cupid] wrote SEA in 2008 and passed for Trinity and there were no records showing [him taking the exams in] 2009,” Samlalsingh told Wired868. “And when I spoke to teachers at Trinity Moka, they said yes he was there from 2008 to 2011…

“I don’t know why schools [are] going to this length to have students play. The rule is there. The rule states that you must have eight consecutive years, not nine years.”

Presentation coach Shawn Cooper declined comment on the infringement.

According to Rule 1 of the SSFL’s Credential Committee, “A player’s status shall be determined by their last S.E.A. date. For players who did not write the S.E.A. Examination, the Committee shall consider relevant documents from the Ministry of Education to determine their status.”

Photo: Presentation College (San Fernando) midfielder Kori Cupid (centre) tries to tug back Naparima College playmaker Justin Sadoo (right) during the 2015 South Intercol final in Marabella. (Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)
Photo: Presentation College (San Fernando) midfielder Kori Cupid (centre) tries to tug back Naparima College playmaker Justin Sadoo (right) during the 2015 South Intercol final in Marabella.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

And Rule 2 further states, “Players shall only be allowed one repeat. Players are only permitted eight (8) years of schooling from the date of the S.E.A. exams and it must run consecutively.” 

Naparima finished behind by Presentation on just goal difference, so the successful protest means they will take their southern rivals’ place in the Big Four based on league finish.

However, Presentation were not inconvenienced much as, just a few hours after the SSFL’s decision, they qualified for the Big Four again after clinching a spot in the National Intercol final via a penalty shootout win over Signal Hill Secondary. The Big Four kicks off on Friday 9 December, just three days after the National Intercol final.

The top two Premier Division schools and the two Intercol finalists qualify automatically for the Big Four while, if one of the two top Premier Division teams get to the Intercol final, the next team in the league standings gets their place.

So, the current Big Four line-up of Shiva Boys Hindu College, Naparima, Presentation and San Juan North Secondary would have happened regardless of the protest. But that does not mean Presentation will emerge unscathed from this debacle.

Photo: Presentation College (San Fernando) supporters pick on a dummy during their SSFL Premier Division clash with rivals Naparima College at Lewis Street, San Fernando on 28 September 2016. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Presentation College (San Fernando) supporters pick on a dummy during their SSFL Premier Division clash with rivals Naparima College at Lewis Street, San Fernando on 28 September 2016.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

SSFL president Anthony Creed explained that the credentials committee, which is headed by general secretary Azaad Khan and includes all the zonal secretaries, is dutibound to look for other infringements by Presentation and Cupid—even without formal protests.

“Naparima went the legal route of protesting and there is a particular period for protests which is 72 hours [after the game is played],” Creed told Wired868. “What we are talking about is a credentials issue. There are other games he would have played but those teams didn’t protest. The credential committee still has to look at those other games and refer them to the disciplinary committee…

“The process has to take its place.”

At present, it is uncertain how many games Cupid appeared in this season. But Fatima College have already offered evidence to show that he featured against their school, which means the versatile player was used in more games than initially thought.

If Cupid featured in all of the Premier Division matches from Saturday 10 September in which National Under-20 players were allowed to take part, the impact of the final standings will be sensational since he might have also been used against Queen’s Royal College—along with St Augustine Secondary.

Photo: Fatima College's Jonathan Casimire (left) tries to hold off Presentation College's Kori Cupid in 2015 SSFL action. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Fatima College’s Jonathan Casimire (left) tries to hold off Presentation College’s Kori Cupid in 2015 SSFL action.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

Should the SSFL credentials committee refer those games to the disciplinary committee and a consistent ruling be provided, the relegation-bound trio of QRC, Pleasantville Secondary and Fatima could become East Mucurapo (12 points), San Juan North (11 points) and Pleasantville Secondary (10 points) instead.

While, at the top of the standings, the new placements from first to seventh would be Shiva Boys, Naparima, St Anthony’s, Presentation, St Augustine, Signal Hill and Fyzabad Secondary.

But that’s just the half of it, as East Mucurapo defender Abdus Ramcharan was also deemed ineligible by the SSFL since he failed to meet the Academic Criteria for prospective Form Six players.

Mucurapo already lost their appeal of the disciplinary committee’s decision on the matter—which was made after a St Benedict’s College protest—but have since taken their case to arbitration.

Should the arbitration panel rule that the SSFL followed proper procedure in arriving at the decision, the credentials committee will again be called to further investigate East Mucurapo’s use of Ramcharan this season.

Photo: St Anthony's College defender Ronaldo Jacob (right) tackles East Mucurapo Secondary captain Aquinde Marslin during the North Zone Intercol semifinal at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on 16 November 2016. (Copyright Sean Morrison/Wired868)
Photo: St Anthony’s College defender Ronaldo Jacob (right) tackles East Mucurapo Secondary captain Aquinde Marslin during the North Zone Intercol semifinal at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on 16 November 2016.
(Copyright Sean Morrison/Wired868)

If the disciplinary committee rules against East Mucurapo and Presentation and should both schools have used the illegitimate players at every opportunity, only the order of the relegated trio from the Pres scenario will change with Pleasantville, San Juan and East Mucurapo finishing with 13, 11 and zero points respectively.

One result that sums up the farcical implications of the unfolding scenario came on Wednesday 21 September at Guaracara Park: Presentation’s illegal player, Cupid, opened the scoring against an East Mucurapo defence that featured another ineligible player, Ramcharan. Presentation won 3-1.

God knows what the disciplinary committee will decide in that contest.

Samlalsingh hopes the SSFL learns from this debacle and forces its credentials committee to be more proactive in the future.

“There are too many discrepancies taking place right now and schools like ours and other schools as well try to do everything by the book,” said Samlalsingh. “Again it comes back down to the SSFL. They need to sort out their business with the credential certificates, because look at the situation with Mucurapo.

“If they had done proper research he would not have been playing at all.”

Photo: San Juan North Secondary fans try to capture the moment as they celebrate their East Zone Intercol final triumph over St Augustine Secondary at the Larry Gomes Stadium, Malabar on 21 November 2016. (Courtesy Annalicia Caruth/Wired868)
Photo: San Juan North Secondary fans try to capture the moment as they celebrate their East Zone Intercol final triumph over St Augustine Secondary at the Larry Gomes Stadium, Malabar on 21 November 2016.
(Courtesy Annalicia Caruth/Wired868)

(The bottom five SSFL teams if Cupid played in all possible games—only the last three are relegated)

QRC (13 points), Fatima (12 points), East Mucurapo (12 points), San Juan North (11 points), Pleasantville (10 points).

*—East Mucurapo are relegated, rather than Fatima, due to inferior goal difference.

(The bottom five SSFL teams if Cupid and Ramcharan played in all possible games—only the last three are relegated)

QRC (15 points), St Benedict’s (15 points), Pleasantville (13 points), San Juan North (11 points), East Mucurapo (0 points).

About Roneil Walcott

Roneil Walcott
Roneil Walcott is an avid sports fan and freelance reporter with a BA in Mass Communication from COSTAATT. Roneil is a former Harvard and St Mary's College cricketer who once had lofty aspirations of bringing joy to sport fans with the West Indies team. Now, his mission is to keep them on the edge of their seats with sharp commentary from off the playing field.

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139 comments

  1. When wil SSFL step up and do the right thing. Taking too long. Or is it that they giving us time to forget this. Well this will not be forgotten.

  2. Joseah Herrera bro bro i never asked for this inno ???

  3. I like how you thinking. An example needs to be made to discourage this type of behaviour.

  4. One year ban or demotion is good for me

  5. However that does not address the offence in the current period.

  6. Gail Roberts its kind of not fair to work and achieve something and get it taken away for no good reason
    I guess thats why there checking the games because it really isn’t fair to everyone else on the team

  7. I sure if was shiva we gone long time but prestige is ah hell of ah thing yes sad yes so so sad n unfair

  8. The reason being players …and note I say player,were being kept in school for just football

  9. This is 8 years in total ?
    How long this rule in existence ?
    When I entered Form 1 a cricketer was in Form 4. I left there in form 5 and he was still there in Form 6.
    He even went to Ptown and played cricket for 2 seasons afterwards.

  10. Coach sometimes = collector .
    I don’t think the Principal is en courant with players in the League , he does not go to the boy canvassing a move . Think about it , the Principal comes in when he is asked to formalize the process .

    What if the Coach says yes I agree to Coach your Premier or Championship team but I have to bring in certain players?

    What if the sponsor says that’s good ?

    Saw a picture of an U 14 school team in newspaper would be interesting to track for next 3 to 5 years to see how many play for school first team .

  11. I do believe they all know the rules but is that the level to win. All who cheated should pay a penalty to set an example. For me the criteria would be bad grades no football…. Good grades join my team.

  12. these schools do these things on purpose because if you look at the process that the registration of a student to enter a school and the process to register a player some one at the school must pick up the problem with the boy. Too many schools assembling a side instead of coaching a team. So they go all over the country to look for players. Iaiah Lee from Valencia used to go to St Augustine Secondary now he attending Naps in San Fernando

  13. Teams guilty of these offences should start the season with a 6 points deficit with the wins awarded to two promoted teams.
    …the human within…

  14. Teams guilty of playing ineligible players should be BANNED for SSFL for a minimum of one year. That might be an incentive to do the right thing. People remember Mexico????

  15. Would like to see the actual rules of the SSFL re: sanctions for using an “illegal” player. Why not just disqualify the team in which case they drop to the bottom of the table instead of checking to see which games the playes played and adjusting losses abd draws etc

  16. When donations re football programs become more important than teaching integrity and fair play at the school level ..

  17. All that fancy talk by Percy yet Naps have a player who turning 20?

  18. Why does this decision portend impunity to Pres? They have no dire consequences to face but rather a coveted Intercol prize to play for so obviously not at all affected. This is more like a gentle league slap on the wrist! San Juan should definitely feel aggrieved regardless of the Intercol Final result as they stand to be relegated win or lose!

    In the regular season match, Naps beat Pres 2-0 even with Cupid supposedly in the line-up so they had nothing to gain in terms of points and neither does Shiva as they won 3-1. This protest is more about principle, ethics and the ripple effect caused as we see with East Mucarapo, all the different permutations being presented due to these infractions that cause schools to be undeservedly relegated.

    Imagine if young Cupid was not on National duty and played all 14 Games then the entire dynamic of the points table would have had a tectonic shift. Sadly, the myopic Pres Team Management entailing their Admin, Alumni, Coach, Manager should be held to task.

    Let’s see if they are more acrimonious about getting caught than breaking the rules as gullible Creed seems to be with the timeframe cited for protest! Wrong is Wrong!

    Time to fix the SSFL but you can’t teach old dogs new tricks. Would help if they were competent and passionate enough to do their jobs without ambiguity!

  19. I’m trying to understand why there are so many instances of schools playing non-registered players. Aren’t the players supposed to have league issued photo IDs that officials are supposed to verify before each game?

  20. All this talk scene thing bai? Hmmm Jahreed Murray u liking yuhself ent? Lol

  21. Big wet watery STEUPS our boys have played by the rules done the work and God forbid to be dropped by someone not doing their due diligence as well as unscrupulous action by Pres they should be banned or fined it is unfair to say the least ?

  22. Lasana Liburd i always found this tough to live with!! In 2000 after winning Tobago intercol with Elizabeth’s college we lost on the six years after SEA rule. I left Tobago to teach in Trinidad on the next flight in 2009 after gaining promotion with woodbrook sec and preparing a team whole summer and some of my players not gaining d academic requirements i played against those very players playing for the Champions of that year and the defending champions!! Trinity tried to get me to protest when we were locked in d relegation battle couldn’t get heart to disappoint the kids because of mistakes of adults not after my own experience as a coach earlier this is wide spread but what’s d solution??

    • How is not protesting benefitting the players Gordon Pierre. Isn’t it part of their life lessons to know if others are misleading them

    • Boi Timothy Rochford it was something i never thought deeply about! All i knew is when we won in 2000 i honestly didn’t know d rule i was a young coach assembling a team in fact the youngster who they protested against was part of my team d year before and in 4th form at d time because he had dropped out of school and became a fisherman and only returned because his mother sent him back. I was heartbroken and returned to Trinidad with them damn Tobagoian in mind!! Lol the young man stopped playing joined d army a real talent i couldn’t put other through that!! I decided if the kids underage let my kids match up and win they couldn’t, never understood how those boys got into those other schools though!!

    • What is sad is that some of these administrators know of the rule.

    • Yep those two teams had very experienced coaches and management. Trinity management brought it up at a North zone meeting they were last at d time we second to last! Lol i said if the league want they can investigate but i didn’t want to seem like a spoil sport and to b honest prefer football to be decided on the pitch or probably I felt i wouldn’t not have come last!! Lol seriously though i felt the league should have taken some action guess it was the big guns!!

    • Apparently the league has an obligation to investigate any such protest and check thereafter for any other similar violations.

  23. maybe instead of relegation for this specific issue in a case where an innocent school would suffer…a play off game on a home and away basis

  24. welcome to the third world 🙂

  25. Btw …years ago SS cricket used to have this same nonesense. .I think tadpole play bout 10yrs fuh Princes Town…lol

  26. Honestly. .it’s unfair to simply deduct the points from the games tge player played… the SSFL has to make it CLEAR that infractions like this in the future will lead to RELEGATION of the transgressors

  27. Oh gawd man why San Juan have to suffer just so. So wait schools not aware of these rules? How fair is it to know matches finish and by some protesting twist of fate …an entire school get relegated? Nah man

  28. So ….. Qrc gonna live another day??

  29. This thing getting very interesting. I really want to hear which teams got relegated, which team or teams Qualified / disqualified. Etc etc etc How about Naparima and Shiva Boys ? Does both teams get to wear there football boots before the season done ??

  30. Sorry to say…the SSFL executive and credentials committee 100% to be blamed for this

  31. Went over this ad nauseum already , and these are not mistakes they are deliberates , the people involved are en courant with the rules and all are given copies of the regulations …EVERY YEAR.
    Someone has to write the required formation on a registration form , this has to be checked , ,then signed by the Principal as valid and correct and official school stamp.

  32. Lasana Liburd every time I see you post I wonder if it’s to say who the new national coach going to be

  33. More reason for us to beat them on Tuesday ?

  34. All this is rather confusing… You play ineligible players and all you lose is the points? That doesn’t deter people from being dishonest in the future. There has to be much more severe penalties….

  35. This is not the first player from the north to be scuttled to Pres.

  36. What about Shiva Boys Hindu college? They also protested because of Kori

  37. Pres not Pres they make a mistake. These irregularities do not happen at schools like Pres.

  38. i wonder if this young man has five O level passes

  39. nine years in high school. Pres should be relegated and the coach fired and any titles won this year be taken away

  40. Lasana all these schools that use illegal players should be harshly dealt with . …like thrown out….no wonder trini in this state….win by any means necessary……lot of BS….

  41. Many people are saying this sort of thing gas been going on for year, and subliminally saying it’s is OK. Buy it’s not some schools are exploiting the young men keeping them in the school system with some very questionable practices. Mr creed statement with the 72 hours protest time is utter rubbish there should be not statute of limitations of a legal protest within an active school football season. All schools found in breach of the laws should face the full extent of its enforcers.

    • Lasana Liburd

      I agree with you insomuch as the clock should not start running until when we feel the wronged team should have reasonably known they were cheated. In this case, it can’t be the opposing schools’ fault for not knowing when every player they are up against took their SEA exam.

    • Lasana Liburd

      The fact that this crime has been committed before is no excuse. Although I don’t think the people who said so meant it as an excuse either.

  42. If you look at the records you will realise he played against another North Zone team as well besides St. Anthony.

  43. This is gross incompetence by both a prestige school and the SSFL who one would be inclined to believe possess the intellect to abide by the rules and regulate respectively. Sadly, this seems to be prevalent in the modus operandi of our national football as the same SSFL coaches, management and administrators now hold higher positions by being on or associated with the TTFA.

    I can only presume that the criteria is based on being dumb and dumber which is why our football at all levels have degenerated and dare I say mired in mediocrity.

    Remember 23 youth players went to Curacao utilizing TTFA’s financial resources when only 20 were allowed to play and now blatant flouting of the rules by Schools. Where are the Accountability and Review systems to mitigate these travesties?

    Nine Years a professional school footballler is also unacceptable. What happens if there is an unfortunate career ending injury? I am almost certain these types of players do not have the basic passes needed to get a job at a fast food restaurant which is an indictment on the schools who have failed to educate their students to become graduates and attain qualifications. Not everyone will be the next Dwight Yorke and make millions on the world’s stage.

    I say this from experience in that despite making the team, I missed out decades ago on my opportunity to play for Naps at Intercol level due to bad groin injury. However, I buckled down, studied and became gainfully employed as an Oil and Gas professional internationally. My dream to play school football was dashed but was always inculcated with an “all-round, nothing is handed to you on a silver platter but must be worked harder than anyone for” mindset by my Parents and Teachers. Undoubtedly, not all Schools do that nor does the SSFL care with the buffoons who guide them.

    When will we start fervently demonstrating good governance by enforcing the rules whilst ultimately putting Students and our Country first?

  44. waa they doing d doggg lmao

  45. So Pres aint have enough academic glory that they have to exploit the youth for athletic glory? Steups

  46. More severe penalties need to be imposed on these schools. Absolutely wrong for a school to blatantly flout the rules, but still qualify for post season play!! BS!!

  47. That is just my point Lasana. Players being exploited for the glory of the school. No regard for the rules.

  48. This is a very poor reflection on the LEADERS of these schools. Is winning at all costs now the mantra in schools?
    What sort of example is being sent to students? Can we get some EXEMPLARY example being sent to young people?
    Is there still a Ministry of Education?
    Please get your act together and teach children that there are rules for ALL.

  49. Wow so much foolishness for school level football smh. Anyway looking forward to Wednesday’s finals ? any idea of the venue yet?

  50. All that deception to compete against schoolboys for a trophy? Sad!