Chaguanas North Secondary, which was on the receiving end of a decision by the BGTT/First Citizens Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) Disciplinary Committee to reverse its 2-1 victory over Carapichaima East Secondary, has appealed the verdict, which it has described as ‘unjust.’
The three points which they won were taken away and given to their opponents, who were also gifted a 3-0 result, which effectively gave them the zonal title. The committee met on Tuesday to debate whether or not Chaguanas North was in breach of the rules when it allowed goalkeeper John Rodney to play against Carapichaima.
According to the rules, Rodney, who was transferred to Chaguanas North for the season, was supposed to have a minimum of two CXC passes to represent the school. However, he did not. However, a senior official of Chaguanas North said the school was appealing the decision since it was unfair to the school and these young men who played.
The official said the school has an official letter from the Central Zone which gave an all-clear for Rodney to play in the match. “We did not make that decision without first getting permission from the secretary of the zone, Trevor Bridgelalsingh.”
He indicated that the school submitted the list of players with supporting documents and was told by Bridgelalsingh that the player would be able to take part in the match. “We definitely got approval from an official who represents the SSFL.”
The school noted that it had presented Bridgelalsingh’s letter at the disciplinary hearing, but this had no impact. In addition, Bridgelalsingh also wrote to the committee and acknowledged his mistake in indicating that the player in question was eligible to play. “We were misled,” claimed the Chaguanas North official. “We were aware that the player was admitted to the school with one pass, and after we wrote to the committee asking for a pardon, Bridgelalsingh responded in writing saying that the team list was satisfactory. We were given the impression that it was safe for Rodney to play.”
He continued, “All they had to do was tell us, ‘No, you can’t play him.’ We did not have to play him. He is the reserve goalkeeper, but we gave him a run, like everyone else, with the approval of the SSFL official.”
The official said the disciplinary meeting was disappointing since it seemed that a decision was already made before the meeting. “It was too cut and dry,” he said. The school official said that he feels that the young footballers have been punished, even though they did nothing wrong.