MINISTER of Education Anthony Garcia has accepted a customary invitation to be the patron of the Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL), which kicks off on Wednesday.
The president of the SSFL, William Wallace and the league’s general secretary, Azaad Khan made the offer on Friday during a meeting with Minister Garcia and Dr Lovell Francis, Minister of State in the Ministry of Education and senior executives of the Ministry.
Minister Garcia said he has been an avid fan and follower of the SSFL for many years and he was happy to become the patron of the league.
He said he fondly remembered the days when Fatima College, of which he was once a principal, was triumphant for many years in holding the SSFL champion title.
Minister Garcia added that another reason for him meeting with the SSFL was to discuss some matters affecting the league, and how they may impact students participating in the competition. One of the issues raised in the meeting was students who are enrolled in schools but do not attend classes, yet they are still allowed to play football for their respective schools.
He expressed concerns that there are cases of students/players working in commercial establishments when they should be in school.
The Minister stressed that this is unfair to the students and must be dealt with immediately. After some discussions among all parties, it was agreed that the Ministry of Education and the league’s administrators must establish clear guidelines to regulate this situation.
The guidelines will be finalised and communicated to the schools and general public soon.