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St Augustine’s Nkosi Fuentes, right, vie for possession with Miracle Ministries Pentecostal’s Jerrod Modeste during the SSFL Big 5 match at Edinburgh 500 Grounds on Friday, March 8th 2024 in Chaguanas. St Augustine Secondary won 3-0. PHOTO BY: Daniel Prentice

Moruga, Blanchisseuse protest questionable wins.

The Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) has again been asked to decide on which two teams will join St Augustine Secondary in the Premier Division later this year.

On Monday (March 4) and Friday (March 8.) respectively, Miracle Ministries Pentecostal and Signal Hill Secondary Schools both thought they had cemented their places with respective 4-0 and 2-1 victories over Moruga and Blanchisseuse during the Big Five Play-Off of the SSFL but instead, will have to prove their innocence in the protest room first.

The Miracle Ministries and Moruga encounter, played at the Moruga grounds on Monday, was nothing short of convincing for the visitors. However, Moruga representative Andy Joseph is claiming that the Central Zone winner breached the rules of the game by using six substitutions.

According to the laws of the SSFL, teams are allowed to make five substitutes with a sixth only required when a player gets a concussion in a match. Miracle Ministries midfielder Shivon Lalloo was involved in a clash in the first half of play and was subsequently stretchered off the field for what eventually turned out to be a broken arm.

The incident led to the first substitution for Miracle Ministries, who later went on to make five more substitutions afterwards. Joseph said while he recognised that quite a few substitutions were being made, he was not sure they had surpassed the amount required because of the intensity of the game.

Joseph confirmed that a protest was lodged with the SSFL soon after the match, noting that all they want is for the right thing to be done and the rules followed by all teams. Incidentally, if the SSFL rules in favour of Moruga, they will be upgraded to four points and in with a strong chance of sealing one of the spots up for grabs on goal difference.

“I cannot say what the SSFL will decide but they have all the facts in front of them. All I know is that it must be a level playing field for everyone,” Joseph said.

Moruga won the South Zone of the Boys Championship Division by six points but then survived a protest that they had breached the online registration process.

Joseph admitted that his team had been through so much this year, but they will remain strong, having experienced the highs and the lows in the SSFL over the years.

Moruga last played in the Premier Division back in 2022 but was relegated.

Miracle Ministries coach Kern Cupid said while he was asked to say nothing on the matter by his legal representative, he admitted that Lalloo did receive a slight concussion during the clash, in addition to a broken hand.

Like Moruga, Miracle Ministries, the Central Zone champion, also survived a complaint it had breached the registration process. However in its case, the school’s registration documents were not considered an official document from the web page of the SSFL, but rather a copy of registration, which was tantamount to a breach.

Cupid confirmed that both teams were allowed to use six substitutions in the match.

“Our sixth substitution was made in the 91st minute when the score was already 4-0, so it would have been insignificant. What we are working on now, is getting the medical document to confirm that Lalloo did get a slight concussion, which would mean that he was the sixth substitution in the game,” Cupid explained.

Meanwhile, Blanchisseuse is asking for answers as to why Roger Kirk and his cousin Zakiyus Kirk were red-carded in their Big Five showdown with Signal Hill at Signal Hill Ground, which allowed the home team to storm back, scoring two goals in five minutes to win the match and seal a Premiership spot.

Kirk (Roger) sent the Northerners ahead from the penalty spot in the fourth minute. However, Imanhi Forbes levelled the score in the 91st minute before hammering the final nail into the Blanchisseuse coffin in the 95th sending the home team into a frenzy at the thought of a Premier Division berth.

Both Principal Hashim Johnson and manager Kevon Palmer said they didn’t know what happened under referee Keon Yorke’s whistle.

Roger Kirk, after being yellow-carded in the first half, received a second yellow card for allegedly standing over the ball to prevent a quickly taken Signal Hill freekick in the 79th minute.

“The player was walking away from the ball on orders from the referee when he was given his second yellow card,” Palmer said. “In the second sending off, Kirk (Zakiyus) received consecutive yellow cards for a foul and the use of abusive language to the referee.”

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