Fyzabad Secondary will play no further part in the Premier Division of the 2017 Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL), after an executive meeting yesterday found the school guilty of registering two players whose academic certificates were falsified.
A press release by the SSFL confirming the suspension said, “This is directly related to the fraudulent January Caribbean Examinations Certificates which were received by the League on behalf of two students.
“The Caribbean Examinations Council documents purported that one student was successful in obtaining three CSEC passes at Ordinary Level. The other student was purported to have been successful in obtaining two CSEC passes at Ordinary Level. This meant that they both had four O’ Level subjects. The grim reality is that neither student wrote any examination in January 2017.”
After the students “attained” the required four subjects, the Ministry of Education had granted the students places in Lower Six which paved their way to participate in the SSFL. After investigations, however, the SSFL determined that the two students did not have the necessary qualifications and the documents to gain admission into Lower Six were fraudulent.
SSFL president William Wallace is appealing to schools to be honest in accepting players in Sixth Form. Wallace said, “We can only appeal to all persons, all stakeholders to make sure that they check their information properly – that they be honest – that is all that we can do.”
Asked what can the SSFL do to stop these situations from happening again, Wallace said, “In terms of the original certificates, at the beginning of the football season you don’t have original certificates available, so we depend on copies that come to us. If it is something that we are getting from students, we need to properly check that, due diligence needs to be exercised. We need to check the documents out, as teachers. If it is coming from the school itself, that is a different story, as I said we can only appeal to people to be honest in this situation.”
The SSFL has forwarded all documents to the Ministry of Education.
Not me says coach Williams
Coach of Fyzabad Brian Williams, a former member of the Strike Squad, has washed his hands completely of the unsavoury situation, insisting he was there only to coach the team and administrative matters such as verifying the grades of players were the school’s responsibility.
“That is an administrative thing I was just at the school as the coach. The responsibility of the administration rests with the principal and the teachers there. I was just there at the school for two months and two weeks so I am not privy to any of the administration and the eligibility of the players at the school.”
Williams added, “When I went there, the players that I worked with is the ones I got at the school. Administrative (matters) the principal and teachers will be able to say (what happened) with the submission of players’ transcripts and qualifications and eligibility rests with the school.”
The TT right-back during the failed Road to Italy campaign said he was left with no choice but to resign from the team with immediate effect due to what transpired.
“It is difficult for me to work in that type of environment. My work cannot be done in the right way. For those who don’t have the facts, it will interfere with my reputation as a person,” he said.
Williams described the situation as unfortunate for schools football in general and Fyzabad Secondary. Williams said, “It is a real sad state for the school and schools football on the whole.” Asked if counselling should be given to the entire football team to help them cope with this difficult situation, Williams agreed, noting that the season has ended prematurely for players who have had nothing to do with the illegal activities.
“The innocent ones who dream to play in the Colleges League and who are doing well and who felt an opportunity was taken away from them will feel some type of sadness. They may say, ‘I don’t feel like I could play football again’ or ‘I don’t want to play in the Colleges League for other people misbehaviours.’ It is not a good example for young people especially in a learning institution.”