Another SSFL protest! Shiva Boys could plunge to bottom of table as Mason move targeted

EPL Infrafred Sauna

The Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) has another massive decision to make with far -reaching implications for its 2017 Premier Division competition. And, once more, it centres around defending champions Shiva Boys Hindu College and their new recruit, lanky former National Under-20 Team utility player Kierron Mason.

Last week, SSFL aficionados and others were stunned by news that Fyzabad Secondary had been booted out of the top flight schoolboy competition after registering two players—defender and team captain Dez Jones and midfielder Maurice Dick—with examination certificates that had been falsified.

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)
But there was another crucial decision taken by the SSFL Disciplinary Committee that was not made public and, therefore, did not receive the same scrutiny.

On Monday, a two-man panel from the Disciplinary Committee—SSFL general secretary Azaad Khan and North Zone secretary Roger Martin—ruled that Shiva Boys deserved no more than a warning for using Mason in seven league matches before he was properly registered.

The SSFL Constitution states that any player who participates in another Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) affiliated competition after the cut-off date of 31 August must receive special dispensation to play in the schools competition.

Article 16 subsection 4 (a) states: A player, who having been registered and/or is playing with the TTFA or with another League or Association affiliated to the TTFA after 31st August of the current year shall not be eligible to be registered as a player for their school unless they meet the criteria of the Credentials Committee.

4 (b) Any registered player/s of the League who registers and/or plays with the TTFA or with another League or Association affiliated to the TTFA shall immediately lose their registration with the League for the remainder of the season.

Photo: Shiva Boys Hindu College midfielder Kierron Mason in action against Fatima College during SSFL action at Mucurapo Road on 30 September 2017.
(Courtesy Annalisa Caruth/Wired868)

However, Shiva Boys, who are represented by team manager Sheldon Maharaj and principal Dexter Sakal, did not submit the required paperwork to clear Mason—who represented  Marabella Family Crisis Centre on 2 September in a Trinidad and Tobago Super League (TTSL) contest—until 6 October.

By then, the “Penal Princes” had played in seven Premier Division matches with Mason featuring in all of them.

The SSFL Constitution stated that the penalty for breach of Article 16.4(a) and 4(b) is: “Loss of points or even suspension from further participation in the League for the remainder of the season, as the Disciplinary Committee may decide.”

However, Khan and Martin, according to an informed source, ruled that: “The spirit of the law would not be to take away all the points from [Shiva Boys].”

And, instead of sanctions, Shiva Boys were “warned” but allowed to keep their points.

Ironically, the SSFL ruled the opposite way when Naparima College protested Mason’s registration in a separate matter earlier in the season.

Photo: Naparima College coach Angus Eve points the way during SSFL action against Presentation College at the Mannie Ramjohn Stadium in Marabella on 27 September 2017.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

Mason, a former ‘Naps’ student, had been a Shiva Boys schoolboy for barely 48 hours when he came on as a substitute in the defending champions’ opening 2-1 win over Naparima on 8 September.

Article 16 subsection two of the SSFL Constitution states: “The registration of a player with the League must be made in writing at least seventy-two hours before the start of the match in which that player is to take part. This registration must be made with the General Secretary or Zone Secretary.”

The penalty for breaching that rule is: “Loss of game by the offending team. If both teams offend, the game shall be null and void.”

On that occasion, the relevant SSFL committee followed the letter of the law and Naparima were awarded the points.

Fatima College and Queen’s Royal College (QRC) believe the SSFL should again enforce the penalties set out in the constitution, though; and, on Friday 20 October, they appealed the Disciplinary Committee’s decision regarding Mason’s TTSL outing.

Photo: Shiva Boys Hindu College playmaker Judah Garcia (right) attempts a pass while Fatima College midfielder Zach Welch (centre) stays close during SSFL action at Mucurapo Road on 30 September 2017.
(Courtesy Annalisa Caruth/Wired868)

The appeal was signed by Fatima principal Father Gregory Augustine and QRC principal David Simon. It stated:

“It has been brought to our attention that a matter concerning the eligibility of [Kierron] Mason of Shiva Boys Hindu College is under review. Our understanding is that this stems from his having played in the TTSL (Trinidad and Tobago Super League) on 2 September 2017.

“We take this opportunity to direct you to Rule 16.4(a) and 16.4(b) of the SSFL constitution and the penalty assigned for boys registered in or taking part in TTFA affiliated competitions after the 31 August date.

“We await a speedy resolution to this matter and expect that your judgment would be in accordance with the constitution.”

If the appeal against Shiva Boys is successful, it would prompt the fourth change of the Premier Division standings due to off-field issues in this season alone—after the Naps’ decision and the Fyzabad ruling, which was initially the docking of points from the school before the executive committee opted to throw out the “Fyzo Tigers” entirely.

Photo: Shiva Boys Hindu College midfielder Kierron Mason (background) converts his penalty kick past Fatima College goalkeeper Jacob Camacho during SSFL action at Mucurapo Road on 30 September 2017.
(Courtesy Annalisa Caruth/Wired868)

The impact on the standings would be catastrophic for the reigning champions, as they will immediately drop from fourth to the bottom of the standings. However, with four games remaining in the season, Shiva Boys could still avoid the drop—they would be just three points shy of safety.

QRC, who lost 5-1 to Shiva Boys on 20 September, would move up three places in the standings to sixth and should be assured of avoiding relegation while Fatima, who lost 4-1 to Mason and company on 30 September, will move to fourth.

Nearer to the foot of the standings, Speyside High and Trinity College Moka would get a welcome boost in their survival bids. Speyside would move from 15th to 12th while Trinity Moka would go from 14th to 11th place.

The bottom three teams at the end of the season will join Fyzabad on the sidelines of the Premier Division.

The possible change in standings would be bad news for St Benedict’s College and Signal Hill Secondary, though. St Benedict’s are one spot above the relegation zone at present but would slip to 13th place while Signal Hill would fall from 13th to 14th.

The SSFL is expected to rule on the appeal against Shiva Boys early this week.

Photo: Shiva Boys Hindu College captain Judah Garcia (second from left) celebrates with teammates after their opening goal from Junior Asson during SSFL action against Naparima College at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva on 8 September 2017.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/CA-images/Wired868)

Current SSFL Standings

(Played-Won-Drew-Lost-Goals For-Goals Against-Points)

  1. Naparima            12-9-2-1-28-11-29
  2. St Anthony’s       12-8-3-1-39-20-27
  3. Presentation       10-7-1-2-22-11-22
  4. Shiva Boys HC    10-6-2-2-26-13-20
  5. San Juan N          12-4-6-2-25-1318
  6. Trinity East          10-5-1-4-19-11-16
  7. St Mary’s             11-4-3-4-26-25-15
  8. Fatima                 10-6-0-4-14-13-18
  9. Carapichaima E 12-4-2-5-19-20-14
  10. St Augustine       11-4-1-6-22-24-13
  11. QRC                    13-4-2-7-21-28-14
  12. St Benedict’s      11-2-3-6-16-25-9
  13. Signal Hill           11-2-2-7-11-21-8
  14. Trinity Moka       10-2-1-7-13-30-7
  15. Speyside High    13-2-1-10-7437

Adjusted SSFL Standings IF Shiva Boys lose appeal

(Played-Won-Drew-Lost-Goals For-Goals Against-Points)

  1. Naparima            12-9-2-1-28-11-29 
  2. St Anthony’s       12-8-3-1-39-20-27
  3. Presentation       10-7-1-2-22-11-22
  4. Fatima                 10-7-0-3-16-9-21 
  5. San Juan N         12-5-5-2-28-13-20
  6. QRC                    13-5-2-6-23-23-17 
  7. Trinity East         10-5-1-4-19-10-16
  8. St Mary’s            11-4-3-4-26-25-15 
  9. Carapichaima E 12-4-2-5-19-20-14 
  10. St Augustine       11-4-1-6-22-24-13
  11. Trinity Moka        10-3-1-6-16-28-10
  12. Speyside High     13-3-1-9-103810 
  13. St Benedict’s       11-2-3-6-16-25-9
  14. Signal Hill            11-2-2-7-11-21-8
  15. Shiva Boys HC    10-2-1-7-9-26-

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About Lasana Liburd

Lasana Liburd is the managing director and chief editor at 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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  1. I don’t understand the “warning” though

  2. To quote lok loy “rules is rules” . Why Shiva persisted with the Mason transfer though? They insists they did nothing wrong. On the bright side this is an excellent opportunity to review the current structure of the league and fix the glaring holes. Mr. President seek help and fix the league once and for all Flow give allyuh money fix it!!!! Don’t waste this opportunity it can be fixed

  3. CIC,QRC and Fatima constantly churn out students playing SSFL where the average age is 16/17.The majority of whom leave A Level at 18 years with 4 CAPE subjects.SSFL is a Recreational League…remember that..RECREATIONAL.

  4. Where you have teachers engaging in falsification of documents , young men being led astray and parents operating in an environment devoid of parental checks you then have players being used as slaves and taking up a space for more deserving students…more than that ,apart from just playing what benefit do these players get from playing?Do these games improve tgeir football or careers?

    • Brooks, you talking about the impact or lack thereof on their football careers. What about being “coached” by their elders/caregivers/mentors(?) that it’s ok to do the wrong thing? Altho this bringing in talent is not specific to T&T school sports – particularly football (as we see in NCAA-sanctioned sports in the US) – we Trinbagonians are all too happy to cut a corner and disobey the rules/law. That’s why we get “let them play nah”.

  5. The rules are there to be followed. If you do not abide by the rules there are consequences.

  6. That is why we are in this position as a country….Rules and their application equal to Bitching…SMFH…Dem good yesssss!!!! Suspend them too.Learn to play by the RULES

  7. U know what killing me is that these so call prestige school could get away with any thing cause they r covered but deep south school have no help but their cannot beat u on the field so look for free three points study just so sickening ,god u alone knows wee

    • Hmmm I think this is abit too much now

    • Girl them trying to destroy these boys just come out n say we dont want shiva boys in this football

    • What I really want to say I can’t because my son goes to you know where but who hv more corn feed more fowls

    • True this is d worst football ever n it making outside news ,destroying people children moral n to d people who only reading n talking ah hole lot of S,,,,,,,stop it its children we destroying n big hard back men behind this if i fedup u doh thing these boys fedup it over bearing now ,u c all off ah sudden fyzo gone y ,pick sense outof nonsense,o gosh they go sell they soul boy very sad ,,very sad n disgusting

    • This really seems unfair.. someone really need to get to the bottom of this ridiculous fight down ..

    • Rules were made only for shiva boys hindu collage i guess

    • If this wasn’t such an emotional issue for these player.. it would be hilarious. . As the fight down is clearly prejudice!

    • Bull crap rules is only for d hindu school

    • Do you think it it fair for players to compete at a higher (competition) level than the average school football player in a competition designed for school football players. That’s like professionals playing amateurs. Where is the sport in that? It’s understandable tht you guys, the school’s supporters would be upset but your team has an unfair advantage. I think tht Shiva could beat some of these teams without tht player. So why take the chance. Blame who put him on the field. And if any of the other teams in the league is doing it now, sort them out too.

    • The same applies if I take primiere league players and play them in senior grade or even a lower age group. But no laws to affect that though. Yet the boys can’t play at a higher level than SSFL. Hypocritical if u ask me.

    • Yes but Shiva got the green light to play d little boy n because naps protest u take ah whole game n give it to them ,that come n done ,take way shiva home ground without warning ,we never had no fight or noting ,,no one came n inspect our ground to redemmed it an unfit ground ,but u go moka it like ah damp ,trinity in ah mess ,anthony full ah water ,fight with naps n pres ,fight in fyzo n pres ,caps n pres fight all these games police had to b called in ,san juan well that is ah whole different madness who intemidating d reff ,but as i say no fight in shiva games d supporters behaving n shiva just cutting people tail ,so that is ah problem fight d indian school from penal them not supposed to b good nor b on top SSFL is d worst better they just come out n say Shiva we doh want no hindu school in d football

    • I wonder if ppl see the level of ball these schools play ,talent in every corner u can’t tell between professional & amateurs especially when teams compete against Shiva we bring out d best in all teams I c the problem here is jealousy ,nothing else not jealousy nobody told the other players not to up their football level don’t hate on Shiva but appreciate what they bring to d table which is talent , skills ,beats ,u name it excellent goal keeper & d list goes on I tell u Shiva fever gone to these ppl brain oi

    • I am just here watching and praying wii….. These ppl are trying all how to make us lose our sanity yes

  8. Fed up of the bitching in the league. School football is already sub standard. Let the boys play dread

  9. This season is going to be remembered for all the controversy. I have a feeling some schools just know how to hide things better then the rest.

  10. naps was in 10th place how come dey reached on top is real fight down er… lasana liburd

  11. so alu on Shiva boys now alu give fyzo a lil rest wat these south sch do alu becos they so gd so ual trying to get rid of dem alu want the north sch to take the title dem fatima and qrc priest dey is batti man they appealin g like they wearing dem nun panti let dey get a life like money pass alu wait plenty games played to do alu crap like sch football is not worth the sacrifice again and a lot off classes u missing out to trained and be gd and den for this to happened alu turn everything upside down because of two players or one u banning a whole team shame on ual

  12. Let’s just keep playing matches though…
    Cause obviously it’s better to not know what’s really going on in your league and just adjust points multiple times than take a break and sort things out.

  13. People have become so lawless in T&T that when you looking to punish lawbreakers, they up in arms against you. If I were to follow the logic of some of the posts here, the police would be wrong for charging a person with a crime if they didn’t catch that person in the act of committing said crime. ‘Low dem nah!!
    Issues re: eligibility of players in the SSFL have been in existence since the start of the league I’m certain, so don’t come down on the league’s governing body for trying to enforce the rules. New dispensation. Come down on the schools that running afoul of the law.

  14. Oh gosh boi. The days of winning on the field are over it seems

  15. More confusion to affect the standings.

  16. Satan real busy ,but who in d pot really feels d fire ppl commenting & HV not even been to a game not everything u read is tru ,y big ppl does get on so sm minded talking about what good for 1 good for all steups

  17. Mucurapo paid dearly last year. Why should Shiva get away with A WARNING. More in the pot than the pot spoon.

  18. Buh wah chubble is dis?? Best d teams and dem eh play… jus wait to protest illegitimate players!!

  19. I tell you this is nothing new. Let the games begin

  20. Really? Technicalities to improve positions? I do not see it that way. Rules are rules and if they are broken a price must be paid whenever it is brought to light. Cheaters cannot be crying foul if relegated. Some administrators are not doing any fact checking to avoid all these problems. So let the chips fall where they may.

  21. What d hell really going on in school football boi?….winning at all and every cost seems to be main subject being taught

  22. St Benedict’s won 3 games, against fyzo, caps and moka. They also drew 3, so shouldn’t they be on 12 points?

  23. The rules should apply to All.

  24. it may happen but managers need to manage….like the inmates running the asylum. ..

  25. That’s not all more to come,stay tuned

  26. I feel that schools end up registering players without the knowledge that the players are playing in other leagues. Some players hide the info. Not saying that happened in this case with Mason

  27. By the way Lasana.. thank you for bringing this out now I know that I asked you about any pending issues you investigated and now it out.

  28. Looks like the SSFL stands for Strictly Studying Football Last!

  29. Can’t even be honest in the smallest things.

  30. Much like the recent flooding in my side of the country, it looks like the rivers of protest and bacchanal within the SSFL will burst the banks of public trust and tolerance! Another off-the-field scandal that will undoubtedly upset the league yet again.
    This looks like it may end up in a courtroom before the year is out. SSFL needs to get their proverbial sh*t together and deal with these matters definitively and consistently. The reputation of this league is already in tatters.

  31. was waiting for somebody to make this about the tong schools vs the “new” schools…SMFH

  32. Shit been going on for years. Now that the boys club schools not on top, its a scandal. Joke yes

  33. How Kierron Mason reach on the team list ?

    If he wasn’t properly registered 72 hours prior to, how could he have ended up on the team list and issued a pass ? Or does he have a pass…

  34. It is a shame that school teams look for technicalities as a way to improve their position in the standings.. while schools like St Benedict’s while struggling with a change in coaching staff will be penalized while not being the worst team this season.. these issues should have a deadline to be dealt with, and decisions not made at the end of the season

  35. These adult ‘leaders’ ….what an example to the youth !!!!

  36. So nobody bothers to read the rules of the league….Strange that is only schools out of town getting in trouble like the school administrators need educating also….what a thing…

  37. Somebody seriously eh doing dey wuk !!!

  38. Seems cut and dried to me. Who are the representatives on the appeals committee, by chance?

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