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Source: Fyzabad principal was deceived too; school stops all football programmes after scandal

Fyzabad Secondary have withdrawn from all Secondary School Football League (SSFL) competitions in 2017 as the fall-out from their suspension for fraudulently registering two players into lower sixth form continues.

Yesterday, the SSFL executive suspended the “Fyzo Tigers” from the Premier Division after it was discovered that the school had registered team captain and central defender Dez Jones and midfielder Maurice Dick on the basis of forged documents.

Photo: Fyzabad Secondary midfielder Maurice Dick (centre) is surrounded by teammates [from left] Tyrese Reefer, Sharkeel Louison, Shamor Mahabir and Aaron Jordan during SSFL action against Trinity College East on 20 September at Trincity.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/CA-Images/Wired868)
Jones and Dick have two and one O’ Level passes respectively. However, the players were enrolled in lower sixth form with certificates which suggested that they had four passes each.

Jones and Dick both claimed that they handed their original certificates to Fyzabad team manager and physical education teacher Nigel Lakhan and were unaware of the deception. Lakhan, according to the SSFL, insisted that the players were the ones who presented falsified papers.

Today, the ramifications of the scandal—which has since been forwarded to the Ministry of Education—saw Fyzabad’s entire football programme go down in flames, as Wired868 was reliably informed that principal Troy Jebodhsingh stopped his school from participating in all SSFL competitions until there is a comprehensive internal review of its teams.

“[He] stopped all football in the school at every level based upon the fact that the school’s reputation and character is being tarnished,” a well-placed source at Fyzabad told Wired868, on the condition of anonymity, “and [he has] to make sure every single player is legitimate…

“[The principal] loves football but not more than his own character and integrity.”

Photo: Fyzabad Secondary principal Troy Jebodhsingh.
(Courtesy Expression House Media/Wired868)

Apart from the Premier Division, Fyzabad also participated in the SSFL Girls Championship Division and boys age-group competitions.

Jebodhsingh told Wired868 that he is unable to comment on the ongoing controversy owing to Ministry of Education regulations. However, a source close to the principal insisted that Jebodhsingh was as much a victim as anyone else.

A crucial bit of information that has gone largely unnoticed, according to the source, is that the falsified certificates suggested Jones and Dick wrote exams in January rather than June.

And, while Fyzabad Secondary would have access to the June results, this, according to the source, is not the case for the January exams.

“In this particular instance, the certification under consideration is a January exam [and] if an exam is not written in [Fyzabad] we wouldn’t have access to the results,” said the source. “The January exams are private examinations which take place in different centres throughout the country. No January exam was written in Fyzabad.”

Photo: Fyzabad Secondary head coach Brian Williams gives instruction to his squad during SSFL action against Trinity College East on 20 September at Trincity.
Looking on are (from right to left) assistant coach Kerry Jamerson, team manager Nigel Lakhan and principal Troy Jebodhsingh.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/CA-Images/Wired868)

Neither Dick nor Jones wrote exams in January. Both teenagers told Wired868 that they continued to attend school in Fyzabad between January and May.

Dick did not bother to take the June exams at all—as he felt he was too far behind academically—while Jones did show up for the test but never bothered to check his results.

Dick and Jones both repeated form five at Fyzabad after transferring in from Moruga Secondary and Siparia Secondary respectively in September 2016. Both were enrolled in lower sixth form in September although Jones was not sure what form he was supposed to be in.

Jebodhsingh claimed, according to the source, that he was on holiday until 28 August and was out of the country when the registration process for Dick and Jones began. And, when the paperwork did cross his desk, it had already been vetted by the school’s screening committee and vice-principal Suresh Roopnarine.

Photo: Fyzabad Secondary captain Dez Jones talks to Wired868 on 2 October 2017.
(Courtesy Express House Media/Wired868)

The January exam results went on to be okayed by the school supervisor, Zabeedah Abid—on behalf of the Ministry of Education—and the SSFL Credentials Committee. Nobody, it seems, questioned the authenticity of the code for the exam certificate or insisted that original copies be produced.

“In this particular case, the information is in the code,” said the source. “[The school] has 70-something applications so they will not watch to see if a code is legitimate. We didn’t have the original…

“This went from the screening committee, then to the vice-president and principal and the school supervisor. Then once the supervisor approved it, it went to the [SSFL].

“Everybody at every stage was unaware that this certificate wasn’t what it was claimed to be.”

Once the SSFL began its probe—after a request made by Trinity College Moka—Jebodhsingh allegedly started his own internal investigation and asked the students to produce their original certificates.

Dick and Jones, according to the source, said they gave their documents to Lakhan. But neither boy has yet made a written statement to that effect.

Photo: Fyzabad Secondary team manager Nigel Lakhan.
(Courtesy Expression House Media/Wired868)

The source accepted that Jebodhsingh and the school must bear some responsibility for the scandal but suggested that some persons went too far in their criticism.

“It is not as if [Jebodhsingh] sat down with any child or teacher to forge any certificate and it is hurtful [for him] to see comments being made like that,” said the source. “[His] educational career as far as the public is concerned is ruined. People don’t want to know or understand; all they care about is this happened and it is the school’s fault…

“This is a serious indictment against the school and the integrity of the whole system. But remember nobody picked this up; everybody accepted it.

“We have no problem with the Ministry or police getting involved. Let the chips fall where they may.”

AboutLasana Liburd

Lasana Liburd
Lasana Liburd is the CEO and Editor at Wired868.com and a journalist with over 20 years experience at several Trinidad and Tobago and international publications including Play the Game, World Soccer, UK Guardian and the Trinidad Express.

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116 comments

  1. This is very sad, so the whole team has to pay for some ones tricks and scheme. What a wonderful example has been set here and we wonder why to so many things that happen in the schools today.

  2. I understand that people even get into university with such forgeries! Nuff said.

  3. Well they paid the Maxi for them because they only had use for them during the football season,after football the school don’t need them

  4. once is bobol trinidad is the place

  5. So wait these boys got a chance to better themselves academically, and they mess that up. Opportunity missed, now I wonder who is the evil person leaked that out, didn’t you all thought some personal damage would occur mentally for these young men… People need to be more honest.. crime just don’t pay.. even the smallest ones… I hope these guys get some psychiatric help so that they can go on with their lives, free from blame and guilt.

  6. There is so much that is wrong with this league. For one the age…why are grown players playing against kids? Some of those players must be older than 19.

  7. wat dat hv to do with fraud rite noe the girls can’t even play nor the u14 boys and the u16 boys so u see those youth hv to pay for it

  8. dey talkin so much dat dey make a mistake with de sch name

  9. I agree with the ban. However, I ask us as adults to consider this is Facebook and this is two youngmen. The impact of which can be quiet devastating to the young pscyhe. I pray we be responsible in our commentary and publicity of this incident. It’s right to deal with the issue meanwhile let’s not wound the soul. Discipline considering the impression social media can have and in the midst of it all consider how impressionable the young mind can be to this type of public embarrassment. I am concern about these young men.

  10. Two additional points:
    One, Fyzabad Secondary often had training sessions during school hours at say 9 am. I feel Brian Williams should have objected to that.
    Two, Fyzabad Secondary arranged for a maxi to take its Moruga-based footballers to school and back home. According to one player, this arrangement lasted only until the end of the football season. For the other two terms, those players had to fend for themselves.

  11. No excuses, Blame begins at the top. HOLD the Principal accountable,

  12. The majority of schools has been doing this for years.. even the prestigious school, just Fyzabad happen to be the School to get caught…

  13. I’m quite sure this isn’t the only school doing same, unfortunately for them they got caught.

  14. Is it Inter that is being referred to as Fyzabad Sec? Or is it composite?

  15. What a pity Pan Trinbago won’t and at any rate can’t take a page out of this script and put it into action for Panorama…

  16. Buck stops with d principal. He has to sign off. Also if he is such an ardent follower of d game n wants his skl to do well u wud tink he wud b on top of dese tings. U doh blindly sign a document!!!!

  17. Two additional points:
    One, Fyzabad Secondary often had training sessions during school hours at say 9 am. I feel coach Brian Williams should have objected to that.
    Two, Fyzabad Secondary arranged for a maxi to take its Moruga-based footballers to school and back home. According to one player, this arrangement lasted only until the end of the football season. For the other two terms, those players had to fend for themselves.

    • Really Lasana what about this is surprising ? Most of these schools coaches are hustlers, the alot teachers have disdain for players because they know why the players are really here and the players know this lending to thier poor academic performance because they de to play. PS THE PRINICIPAL
      KNEW!

  18. Apparently the certificates used for the forgery were the boys’ 2016 exam results. So the centre number for Dick’s results was linked to Moruga Secondary and Dez Jones’ was linked to Siparia Secondary.

  19. The students didn’t perpetrate this. Who fooling who. It’s just easier to blame the boys.

  20. Notthing new they just are the unfortunate ones this being going on yrs now sorry for the boys doh

  21. Hmmm, this sad oui.

    Imagine a student with legitimate qualifications may have been blanked to accommodate these two… Hmmm

  22. Doesnt the principal have the final say in authorization? Gimme ah break

  23. Winning by any means necessary is unacceptable because it is not in sync with the objectives of sport participation Participating in sport in school must be a powerful medium for teaching life skills

  24. This is capitalism in its purest form..We commodify the product and seek to exploit to the fullest…That schools ‘sport’ have’transfer markets’ would surprise no one because the school football reflects the culture of the macro football culture..If PSG/Neymar could be shady why not Fyzabad Sec? If the ‘player’ was seen a student/human being developing through football such would not happen..But the season is short, rewards are high and the market for the really high end ‘products/players’ is outstrips supply hence what we see now..For the record read of how/where Ian Clauzel, wonder boy of college football in 80’s/90’s ended.

  25. These boys do not seem to be academics. So for them to go and forge certificates to continue into form six just does not add up. The brains behind the operation is the man you have to look for… Start with the man running the football.

  26. This speaks to a deeper and more saddening issue in our education system. At what point did either of those boys show any readiness to be registered for a CAPE program? and I’m speaking outside of the falsified certificates. What program did the school have in place to help those boys academically progress alongside the football. One child started school and he wasn’t even sure what form he was supposed to be in! And who suffers as a result of this? The other students who were there legitimately; who did the work from the lower forms to get selected for the team. SMH

  27. Nigel Lakhan, what light are you trying to put PE teachers in? We are fighting so hard for respect for our subject and thus is what you do? Shameful!

  28. In the end young men was football worth your more than your education and integrity?

  29. those boys know their future depend on playing in the SSFL

  30. I read the article with the eye and mind of someone who was once a Principal. I hear the attempts of the anonymous sources to attempt to defend the Principal. However the buck has to stop somewhere. These are not any two players. These are your ‘stars’. One is the CAPTAIN of your team. They were given a ‘repeat’ in your school. They were encouraged (?) to do exams PRIVATELY (not at your school) in January. These results are available before the exams in June. The June exams were treated “casually”… one didn’t go, the other seems to have just gone through the motions. The Principal is on holiday when results of the June exam come in. No one is following the issue of the academic eligibility of the young men? The results of the January exams have been in for some time. Was there rejoicing that Sixth Form qualifications were already met? FOUR subjects as qualification for a Sixth Form program? It strains my credibility.. I’ll leave it at that. What an example to all his fellow students! That I find is the tragedy. Concern about personal and school reputation comes a bit late and many innocent (all the legitimate students playing their hearts out) young lives are adversely affected. However long this has been going on, it must stop NOW!! David Simon

    • I not buying the Principal’s explanation one iota. I also blaming the coach as they have proven to be terrible exemplars. Shame on all of them including their parents who also would’ve known the truth.

  31. As a past student (not at said school) who witnessed this sort thing taking place…it’s usually not the students who commit the fraud…but….again…who am I to say that the schools want glory

  32. Imagine being dishonest for football glory… what’s next? His parents knew his CSEC results as well as the principals of past and present schools, classmates from past school. The original certificates should have been requested by Fyabad Sec. What’s the math here? This is deliberate dishonesty.

  33. sigh this whole system in a mess we continually fail the children and then scream lock them up when the burden becomes too much. the one avenue these two children had taken away

    • I share your sentiment about the ‘fail the children’ .. I would hope you’re wrong about ‘the one avenue being taken away ‘. Their obvious football talent is not in question. BUT .. they will need serious counseling to counteract the negative effects of this episode. I can so easily see some tragic consequences and I would put the blame on the adults involved.

    • I was denied a repeat in a so called football school because the principal loved football so much that he gave repeats to footballers who came to school when they wanted and clearly was just interested in football and winning at all cost . Check the ones who get the football scholarships and the school they come from.

  34. One didn’t bother taking the exam because he felt he was too far behind. The other took the exam but couldn’t be bothered with the results. But they both show up in order to enroll and be “students” in Sixth Form. These are young men, children really, but let’s e conservative and call them young adults at 17-18. They have to accept some responsibility… but it’s the adults that are real disappointing in all of this. From parents, to PE teacher, to Principal, to coach. Everybody steady passing blame down the line.

    • I agree. I ask again: where are these boys’ parents in this? Did the school consult their parents at all in this ‘enrolment’?

    • This is not happening only at Fyzabad Secondary, since many of the top schools take in these boys to play football for the school over qualified kids seeking to do “A ‘levels. This is nothing new, so why people sounding surprise, Too many actors in this country or people suffering from convenient amnesia.

    • Rossana I haven’t seen one single person commenting on any of these Fyzabad articles who has expressed “surprise” that cheating along this line happens. If anything folks might be surprised at how brazen the attempt to cheat has been. Also there is nothing wrong with taking in footballers over qualified A-level candidates. The problem lies in taking in unqualified students period, let alone such grossly unqualified students.

  35. They used these boys and now want to blame them. Check out the recruitment process and the recruiter. They were desperate for them and went all out. Where are the parents?

  36. How does a student get accepted in form 6 , Parents beg principals to take their children if they don’t have the minimal requirements. Don’t be fooled , it’s obvious who are the culprits are

  37. “Neither Dick nor Jones wrote exams in January. Both teenagers told Wired868 that they continued to attend school in Fyzabad between January and May.

    Dick did not bother to take the June exams at all…”

    So the certificate he submitted shows results for exams written when?

    • I think that Lakhan has plenty to answer for here. From the stories it seems these boys had pretty much given up on school as an option until they were approached about playing.

    • The certificate claimed they wrote exams in January.

    • Damian, I think the boys or at least Dick has some questions to answer… if he knows he didn’t write exams in January or June, where did he get a certificate from to give to the team manager?

    • It isn’t clear but the certificates presented by the boys were for the previous exams they wrote. Where each had one pass. That would be the only ones they could readily produce. Again, having already looked to play minor league football, I don’t think the boys had any expectations with SSFL play.

    • Ok. My bad. The article talks about them transferring to Fyzabad in September 2016 to repeat form 5, so I didn’t realise it was the first form 5 certificate we’re talking about cause it would seem to me that if you could take the first form 5 certificate, there’d be no need to repeat form 5. You could just transfer into form 6 one time.

    • And I also got confused because the source is talking about Fyzabad only having access to June results and not January results. But the school would only have results if the kids sit the exams as a member of the school. So if Dick never wrote exams as a Fyzabad student, Fyzabad wouldn’t have access to his results ever.
      So idk what the source is talking about.

    • All the more reason Lakhan is the key here. Something is not adding up because the boys initially went ahead presuming their school days were over and done with.

    • One other question I feel compelled to ask: where are these boys’ parents in this? I doubt they are minding themselves; was a parent consulted in this thing at all.

    • Chabeth that is why the source says they relied on the certificate presented to them and couldn’t tell it was a fake.

    • They went into Fyzabad in sept 2016 to repeat form 5 and presumably write exams in 2017 (Jan or may/June) they had no certificate for form 5 exams written in 2017 as students of Fyzabad so submitted certificates for 2016 exams which they wrote as students of another school and were accepted into form 6 in Fyzabad after failing to produce form 5 exam certificates after spending a year in form 5 in Fyzabad? That’s what happened?
      But Jones wrote the exams in May/June 2017? And the school had access to those results? And Jones never collected the certificate? So the certificate is still at the school?

    • Chabeth that’s mostly it. Apparently Jones’ forged certificate said January rather than June though. According to source. But will double check with SSFL.
      Jones said he did get certificate but claimed not to even look at his results. Of course Jones is the boy who sounded surprised to hear he was in form six.

    • Chabeth there is some doubt as to whether Jones ever picked up his June exam results. But apparently the slip used was that for the June 2016 exam.
      The forger used the centre number for that exam which suggested that Dick sat the exam at Moruga Secondary and Jones took his at Siparia.

    • The slip? The slip that you take with you into the exam? As verification of your identity?

    • Chabeth my terminology might be wrong. I’m referring to the certificate with the exam result they got for the June 2016 exams.

  38. Whether or no the principal was complicit in this deception or not, the school will undoubtedly suffer as a whole because of this fiasco. Reputations will be forever tarnished too. And the league suffers from yet another registration scandal.

  39. This is exactly why we had the false documents scandal a while back. Clearly for ALL these people to okay this “certificate” it had to be of top quality. Smh……… still I maintain my position these boys were used and they did not provide false documents to the school.

  40. Allyuh good we, this is comical, so suddenly the Principal was deceived, This reminded me of the many errors at the President’s House, but is the public servants fault. Moonilal boasts Ministers doh sign checks, its public servants, I always thought that the man at the helm is responsible for everything under his watch, Nah not in T&T.

  41. everbody backtracking now
    #ItWasntMe