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Mohammed-Khan: Stricter penalties not the solution

The trinidad Guardian / In the face of a turbulent Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) Premier Division season, General Secretary of the SSFL, Azaad Mohammed-Khan, does not believe stricter penalties is the solution to combating player eligibility issues.

“I don’t think stricter penalties is the solution to stopping teams from infringing on the league’s constitution,” he told Guardian Media Sports in a telephone interview yesterday.

“Part of the problem is that schools are not reading the league’s constitution carefully, and another problem is that sometimes a school may not know if a player has participated in another (TTFA affiliated) league prior to trying to register that player,” he added.

Mohammed-Khan believes the penalties outlined under Article 16 of the league’s constitution “registration of players” are enough of a deterrent.

The penalties he referred to range in severity from the “loss of game by the offending team” to “suspension of the school from further competition in the division for the remainder of the season”.

Both penalties were enforced this season. Fyzabad Secondary was suspended from the division for their alleged role in forging players’ documentation, and Shiva Boys Hindu College was docked points for fielding an ineligible player.

Shiva Boys was also let off the hook with a mere ‘warning’ for fielding an ineligible player in seven matches this season.

Mohammed-Khan’s explanation for this verdict was that he did not think it was a deliberate decision from the school.

After protests from several opposing schools about the latter sanction against Shiva, claiming it to be too lenient, an SSFL meeting to discuss this latest protest was deferred. SSFL president William Wallace told Guardian Media Sports yesterday that it will happen in the next 72 hours.

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