By this week the line-up of schools in the Premier and Championship Division will be known, four months before the September 8 kick-off date of the 2017 Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) season.
Williams Wallace, president of the SSFL said executive has sought legal advice on whether the decision of the Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) on May 17, to include demoted San Juan North Secondary School from the premier division could stand.
He is also calling for a review of the league’s constitution to deal with other potential issues that will hamper the league’s operations in the future.
From the meeting, it was agreed to include San Juan after its vice principal Joseph Taylor convinced the gathering at the Carapichaima Secondary School, that his school was unjustly punished for no reason.
San Juan was among three schools relegated when the SSFL posted its final standing for the 2016 season a month ago.
Taylor, however, challenged the decision, blaming the inefficiencies of the SSFL officers of the disciplinary and credentials committees for not dealing with the issues in a timely manner.
Among the issues in particular for which the committees had to address were protests from other schools as it related to the illegal use of players by East Mucurapo Secondary and Presentation College, San Fernando.
In the end they were both found to be in violation of the SSFL rules and regulations according to a media release from the SSFL a few weeks ago.
According to Taylor the matter should have been dealt with immediately by informing the guilty schools and stopping the players from further participation but instead the SSFL waited until the end of the season to make their decision and then informed the schools.
Taylor also made it clear that his school never had any decision by the SSFL overturned, but rather got the approval by the general council to be included.
The general council, he said, has the power to decide on the teams that will play in all tournaments.
However, yesterday, Wallace said a file of all the necessary documents was presented to a sport’s attorney for advice at the weekend and it was followed that up with a meeting of the legal counsel on Monday.
The SSFL executives are seeking clarity on the process that resulted in that decision regarding San Juan’s inclusion for the 2017 season.
Wallace said he and his executives are seriously concerned about the consequences the May 17 decision may have in the future.
“This has opened up a can of worms and therefore, what we are seeking to do is have the constitution reviewed, and possibly take steps to amend it if necessary.
“Not only with this particular matter, but there are other issues that I feel would require the constitution to be scrutinised by a legal person,” Wallace explained.
He ruled out the need for having a legal representative on the Board of the SSFL, but said the SSFL need someone it can consult with regularly, is definitely needed.
Wallace disagreed with Taylor’s comments in a newspaper report that the decision to include San Juan North came from the general council, saying it did not come from the general council.
“The general council is made up of the premier and championship divisions schools as well as zonal representatives and officers.
“That decision came from an extraordinary general meeting which comprises of all the schools in the league, including schools that did not take part in the premier and championship divisions.”