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SSFL Council censure and fine Naparima and St Benedict’s for Digicel sponsorship violation

The Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) General Council today drew a line under last week’s sponsorship violation by Naparima College and St Benedict’s College by voting to ‘caution, censure and fine’ the two schools. The fine, however, was just TT$500.

The decision was made by school representatives at an emergency meeting at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva.

Naparima, the reigning 2018 Premier Division champions, and St Benedict’s both defied the SSFL’s guideline for uniform branding for the 2019 season, as they displayed sponsors Tiger Tanks on a section of their shirts reserved for title sponsors Digicel.

St Benedict's College
Photo: St Benedict’s College could be in hot water for placing a Tiger Tanks logo on their SSFL-approved kit.

The schools’ behaviour prompted a furious response by SportsMax, who refused to broadcast Naparima’s opening game and threatened to scrap their deal with the SSFL altogether. Digicel and SportsMax are in the fourth season of a five year deal with the local schools body, valued at US$1.5 million.

Naparima and St Benedict’s apologised swiftly and played in authorised uniforms swiftly. However, the SSFL General Council opted to still impose fines of TT$500 each.

“The General Council unanimously accepted the verbal and written apologies from Naparima College and St Benedict’s College,” stated SSFL general secretary Azaad Khan, in a press statement. “Notwithstanding the apologies preferred by Naparima College and St Benedict’s College, after extensive discussions the General Council cautioned, censured and imposed a fine of Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00) each on the two schools.”

To put the penalty into context, if Naparima or St Benedict’s fail to provide a stretcher bearer for a home match, the fine would be TT$1,000 or precisely twice as severe.

The SSFL executive has also agreed to make fresh representation to their sponsors on 29 December 2019 when the relevant parties meet to discuss possible contract renewals.

Photo: Naparima College attacker Ezekiel Kesar celebrates in front of an abandoned SportsMax camera post during SSFL action against St Mary’s College at Lewis Street, San Fernando on 11 September.
(Copyright Kerlon Orr/CA-images/Wired868)

(SSFL Statement)

At the General Council Meeting of the Secondary Schools Football League held on 16 September 2019 at 10.00am at the Ato Boldon Stadium, the following decisions were taken. Please note that the Meeting was attended by a cross section of Principals.

The General Council unanimously accepted the verbal and written apologies from Naparima College and St Benedict’s College.

Notwithstanding the apologies preferred by Naparima College and St Benedict’s College, after extensive discussions the General Council cautioned, censured and imposed a fine of Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00) each on the two (2) schools.

Sponsorship/Branding Proposals shall be prepared by the League after consultation with all schools which shall be presented to the Sponsors for discussion on 29th December 2019.

Please find attached copies of letters of apology from Naparima College and St Benedict’s College.

Respectfully submitted

Azaad Mohammed Khan

General Secretary

Photo: Naparima College fans cheer on their team during SSFL Digicel Cup action against Presentation (San F’do) at the Mannie Ramjohn Stadium on 7 September 2019.
(Copyright Allan V Crane/CA-Images/Wired868)

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  1. So if tiger tank sponsoring teams so they not inticitle to find somewhere on the uniforms to print their sponsorship I find that not right all who sponsoring putting their print but the 🐅 tiger can’t put their own