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Wed, Sep

The Naparima College football team prior to their opening match in the 2019 Secondary Schools Football League against St Mary’s, at Lewis Street,San Fernando, on Wednesday.
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Na­pari­ma and St Bene­dict's Col­leges could es­cape with a mere slap on the wrist, for their parts in breach­ing an agree­ment be­tween the Sec­ondary Schools Foot­ball League (SS­FL) and its spon­sors, par­tic­u­lar­ly its main spon­sor Dig­i­cel, for the 2019 sea­son.

How­ev­er, any school found guilty of breach­es of rules in the fu­ture will be im­me­di­ate­ly sus­pend­ed.

On Wednes­day the de­ci­sion by Naps to wear uni­forms sport­ing its per­son­al spon­sor Tiger Tanks ahead of the main spon­sor of the SS­FL Dig­i­cel for a match against St Mary's Col­lege, caused Sports­Max, the Caribbean sports ca­ble tele­vi­sion providers, to not ho­n­our a com­mit­ment to broad­cast the match LIVE from Naps grounds at Lewis Street, San Fer­nan­do.

And St Bene­dict's Col­lege, which was down to face Trin­i­ty Col­lege East at the Man­nie Ramjohn Sta­di­um, al­so al­tered the Jo­ma uni­forms that were agreed up­on, to be used dur­ing the sea­son.

How­ev­er, a re­lease by the ex­ec­u­tive of the schools league stat­ed yes­ter­day that the prin­ci­pals of both schools- Michael Dowlat (Na­pari­ma Col­lege) and Gre­go­ry Quan (St Bene­dict's) of­fered apolo­gies at a meet­ing yes­ter­day, which they were sat­is­fied with.

As such, it said the ex­ec­u­tive will rec­om­mend that no ac­tion be tak­en against the south­ern schools, al­though the fi­nal de­ci­sion lies square­ly in the hands of the SS­FL's gen­er­al coun­cil when the meet­ing is called on Mon­day.

Ac­cord­ing to a re­lease on Thurs­day - "The Ex­ec­u­tive of the Sec­ondary Schools Foot­ball League (SS­FL) led by its Pres­i­dent William Wal­lace held a meet­ing to­day at its head of­fice at the Ato Boldon Sta­di­um to dis­cuss the mat­ter in­volv­ing Pre­mier Di­vi­sion schools Na­pari­ma Col­lege and St Bene­dict’s Col­lege as it re­lates to breach of spon­sor­ship rules specif­i­cal­ly brand­ing on play­ing shirts.

The SS­FL mem­bers held dis­cus­sions via a con­fer­ence call with the prin­ci­pals of Na­pari­ma Col­lege and St Bene­dict’s Col­lege Dr Michael Dowlath and Gre­go­ry Quan Kep re­spec­tive­ly.

Both prin­ci­pals is­sued an un­re­served apol­o­gy dur­ing the con­fer­ence call for their ac­tion on Wednes­day and have agreed to com­ply with all rules and reg­u­la­tions of the League go­ing for­ward.

They have al­so agreed to is­sue a pub­lic apol­o­gy to the League, Part­ners and all Stake­hold­ers on Mon­day.

Mean­while, Dig­i­cel al­so is­sued a re­lease on Thurs­day which reads: "On the back of a breach in brand­ing guide­lines set by the SS­FL by Na­pari­ma - re­gret­tably Sports­Max was forced to pull the broad­cast of the game be­tween Na­pari­ma Col­lege and St. Mary's Col­lege. While we re­alise that this is dis­ap­point­ing to fans of School­boy Foot­ball, it's im­por­tant to point out that we take our re­spon­si­bil­i­ties to the SS­FL and to its spon­sor­ship part­ners very se­ri­ous­ly and take great pains to en­sure full com­pli­ance. We would like to thank view­ers and sports fans for their un­der­stand­ing in this mat­ter."

The SS­FL Ex­ec­u­tive al­so agreed to rec­om­mend to the Gen­er­al Coun­cil that no ac­tion be tak­en against the two schools but any school that breach­es these rules in the fu­ture will be im­me­di­ate­ly sus­pend­ed. How­ev­er, the fi­nal de­ci­sion will be made when the Gen­er­al Coun­cil meets on Mon­day.

The SS­FL and its part­ners now look for­ward to an in­ci­dent-free sea­son of com­pet­i­tive foot­ball and Fair Play for 2019."

RELATED NEWS

Naps, Benedict’s apologise for sponsorship breach.
By Joel Bailey (Newsday).


We will comply

THE principals of Naparima College and St Benedict’s College have both issued apologies to the Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) executive over breach of sponsorship rules, specifically branding on player shirts.

Both schools caused the ire of the SSFL after fielding uniforms with the logo of school sponsors Tiger Tanks Limited instead of the new Joma uniform with title sponsors Digicel.

In Wednesday’s opening round of the 2019 Premier Division, Naparima played to a 3-0 win over St Mary’s at Lewis Street, San Fernando. However, one of the SSFL sponsors, regional sports cable channel SportsMax, cancelled its feed shortly after the kick-off.

St Benedict’s were beaten 2-1 by Trinity East in their contest at the Manny Ramjohn Stadium, Marabella.

The SSFL executive, led by president William Wallace, held a meeting at its office, located at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva, to discuss Wednesday’s incidents.

The SSFL members also had discussions, via a conference call, with Naps principal Dr Michael Dowlath and St Benedict’s principal Gregory Quan Kep.

According to a SSFL media release, “Both principals issued an unreserved apology during the conference call for their (teams’) action on Wednesday, and have agreed to comply with all the rules and regulations of the League going forward.

“They have also agreed to issue a public apology to the League, partners and all stakeholders on Monday,” the media release continued.

The SSFL executive will make a recommendation to its general council “that no action be taken against the two schools.”

However, according to the media release, “any school that breaches these rules in the future will be immediately suspended.”

The general council is expected to make a final decision on that matter on Monday.

Former national football team goalkeeper Shaka Hislop, who is also the 2019 SSFL Ambassador, said during an interview on CNC3 yesterday, “This agreement (with Digicel and SportsMax) dates back to the signing of SportsMax and SSFL taking up the league and putting it on air. (SportsMax) is now four years into that agreement.

“SportsMax felt that they were taking a chance on the league that nobody else did, and they wanted to protect that investment, in making sure they got full exposure with their sponsorship and agreement.”

Hislop said, “For Naparima to go ahead and do as they did show a brazenness that I think is unbecoming in sports, a level of malintent that I don’t think bodes well for the league.”