Out of a genuine desire to protect his player and student Kierron Mason, Shiva Boys Hindu College principal Dexter Sakal said yesterday his school will not pursue legal action or launch an appeal against the decision of the Disciplinary Committee of the Secondary Schools Football League on Thursday to award St Anthony’s College three points and as many goals for the use of the midfielder in a match against the Tigers on October 7.

Sakal said he was unsure of why they lost the points and goals against their northern rivals as the initial protest was about the legitimacy of Mason’s transfer from Marabella Family Crisis Centre in September. A release on Thursday pointed to the SSFL’s criteria for registration which explained “The registration of a player with the League must be made in writing at least 72 hours before the start of the match in which the player is to take part.”

Following Mason’s official registration with the league on October 6, the player took the field a day after in the feature clash with the Tigers. Sakal, who along with team manager Sheldon Maharaj had been contemplating court action on Wednesday and Thursday, made a complete turn-around in the interest of protecting their student and player Mason, who they believe has been innocent in this year’s developments.

However, the Shiva principal pointed out that due process was not followed by the league’s disciplinary committee in awarding St Anthony’s victory in the protest room. “The way it looks is although the decision was made to hand St Anthony’s the title. We were never called to a meeting of the disciplinary committee which was a standard procedure in disciplinary matters. St Anthony’s lodged the protest on Tuesday and it was adjudicated on almost immediately and a result was given. To add, we were told that the league expedited the process.”

Shiva has since protested Naparima College use of midfielder Rushawan Murphy, but Sakal said he will cancel it on Monday, as he was fed-up with the amount of protest action and appeals for the season.

But while the Penal boys may have received a slap on the wrist from the St Anthony’s ruling, they stand to lose most of their points after Queen’s Royal College (QRC) lodged an appeal against the warning Shiva received for its use of Mason who was illegally transferred. Mason was found guilty of playing for his T&T Super League club Marabella FCC on September 2 which was in violation of the league’s rules for an SSFL player playing in a T&T Football Association- affiliated competition. He was required to provide a transfer certificate from his club to be registered. If QRC gets its way from this appeal early next week the Penal boys, winner of the south League title last year, could find itself low down the standings.

Sakal said when he realized his player was not properly transferred he went to the league’s Credential Committee. “The matter was then sent to the Disciplinary Committee and I was told that because of my honesty the school would not have been penalized, which is why we received a warning” Sakal explained.

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