Fresh SSFL registration drama: “Caps” set to be docked points but likely to avoid relegation

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Carapichaima East Secondary look set to lose points for flouting registration rules during their 2017 Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) Premier Division campaign. However, they are expected to survive relegation, in a final twist to the controversial season.

“Caps” are facing a probe into the registration of seven of their players—after an inquiry by Shiva Boys Hindu College. However, an SSFL insider suggested that the Central Zone Intercol champions are expected to win all but one of the challenges.

Photo: Shiva Boys Hindu College stand-in captain Tyrel “Pappy” Emmanuel (right) holds on to Carapichaima East attacker Theophilus Bourne during SSFL action at Carapichaima on 28 October 2017.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/CA-Images/Wired868)

Shiva Boys, who were relegated after a registration error involving midfielder Kierron Mason and left-back Matthew Beal, queried a series of suspicious paperwork by the Central school.

First, Carapichaima East attacker Theophilus Bourne and goalkeepers Aaron Best and Andre St Clair were all officially transferred on 8 September and registered to play on the same day—in violation of a SSFL rule that says players cannot play until 72 hours after becoming a bonafide student. Bourne was instrumental in his team’s 2-0 win over Fatima College that evening too.

According to a source, Carapichaima officials have conceded that the players should not have featured against Fatima.

As a result, Caps are expected to be docked three points, which will go to Fatima. Once confirmed, Fatima will leapfrog San Juan North Secondary into fourth place with 28 points—behind the trio of Presentation College (San Fernando) (35 points), Naparima College (33 points) and St Anthony’s College (30 points).

Carapichaima’s new total of 15 points will see the school drop from seventh to 11th, leaving them just five points clear of the relegation zone.

However, Carapichaima East are expected to survive the more serious probes into the registration of team captain and playmaker Mecaheil Alexander, attacker Jeremy Lara and defenders Akeil Vesprey and Luke Charles.

Photo: Carapichaima East players Mecaheil Alexander (left) and Colin Wheeler (right) try to hold off Shiva Boys Hindu College attacker Tyrell Baptiste during the Coca Cola National Intercol semifinals at the Ato Boldon Stadium on 30 November 2017.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/CA-Images/Wired868)

Somehow, Vesprey and Charles were allowed to represent their school in the Premier  Division although there was no evidence of a transfer approval from the SSFL in their registration form. And, in Lara’s case, approval to repeat was missing.

Additionally, the paperwork for Caps captain, Alexander, suggested that he was only in Form Five—despite the fact that he had written his SEA as far back as in 2010.

SSFL president William Wallace told Wired868 he saw the relevant documents on Thursday or Friday and they were now in the hands of general secretary Azaad Khan now.

In Alexander’s case, Wallace claimed that the player wrote his SEA in 2013 but a typo suggested otherwise. This error has apparently been cleared up. Curiously though, the date of birth on the midfielder’s registration form suggests he is 19 years old.

Wallace suggested too that Vesprey, Charles and Lara did get the necessary approval from the Ministry of Education to play last season and the paperwork is now with Khan.

But why were the trio allowed to play, despite the SSFL seemingly not having the proper registration data for them?

“That is a very good question,” said Wallace. “I don’t know why [the proper approval forms] were not lodged with the SSFL but I tend to stay away from those things [and leave them to the relevant bodies].”

Photo: Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) president William Wallace (centre) greets players before kick-off in an SSFL match-up between Shiva Boys Hindu College and Naparima College at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva on 8 September 2017.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/CA-images/Wired868)

Wallace might have double reason to distance himself from this probe since he is a teacher at Carapichaima East. However, the former Soca Warriors manager does not have a formal role with his school’s team and would not have been involved in their registration.

The same cannot be said for SSFL Credentials Committee member Laurence Seepersad, who is also a Carapichaima East staff member.

But, as Wallace pointed out, Seepersad—who is also the SSFL’s assistant secretary, operations—does not run the Credentials Committee himself and works alongside Khan and assistant secretary, admin, Gerald Elliot.

Wired868 tried unsuccessfully to reach Khan for comment. The SSFL’s formal ruling on the seven Carapichaima East players is expected early next week.

If Carapichaima East were found guilty of improperly registering Lara, Vesprey, Charles and Alexander—or even one of those four players—it could see the Central team relegated instead of Tobago’s Speyside High.

Photo: Carapichaima East Secondary goalscorer Elijah King (second from right) celebrates his goal with teammates (from right) Daniel Pascal, Brandon St Clair and Theophilus Bourne during SSFL action against Fatima College at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva on 8 September 2017.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/CA-images/Wired868)

At present, the schools which will play in the SSFL Premier Division in 2018 are the following:

Presentation (San F’do), Naparima, St Anthony’s, Fatima, San Juan North, St Mary’s College, Trinity College East, QRC, St Augustine Secondary, St Benedict’s College, Trinity College Moka and newly promoted East Mucurapo Secondary, Valencia High and Bishop’s High School.

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About Lasana Liburd

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. Why do people’s children have to be relegated but some administrators get promoted? Does it even make sense to call a lesser tiered league “Premier” and a higher tiered one “Super”?

    Still have a problem when kids’ names are being publicised even when they went into a cryogenic chamber for a few years to remain eligible to play.

  2. Carol John,,,look thing rules was only made for Shiva boys hindu school ,well yes all your take d cake ,this is so sad so sad

  3. Mr Wallace holds the Key.
    The SSFL had its most turbulent year in 2017 and now spilling into 2018.
    I suggest he meets with Shiva Boys’ ,CAPS and Fyzabad’s Principals and forgive the schools as the students are the ones who suffer the most.Think about the children .Look at lives that we can help.

    No school should be demoted as a mark of peace. This will be a historic act.

    Imagine, Mr Wallace himself could possibly be victimised @ CAPS if they get demoted also. Let PEACE prevail. and proper workshops and monitoring for schools asap ahead of registration 2018.

  4. Transparency the key word here and I hope justice does prevail across the board and not for a selected few. At the end of the day what values are you really teaching our future leaders? Football principles go beyond the playing field: a notion that continues to be ignored by some.

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