Fraud Squad police yesterday made what was their second trip to the Fyzabad Secondary School where they seized documents as part of investigations that are ongoing into fraudulent acts to facilitate entry of students without the requisite academic qualification, into the Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL).
At 10 am, police led by Fraud Squad head Snr Supt Totaram Dookhie and including Insp Kent Ghisyawan, Sgts Earl Smith and Damien Thomas and PC Jointe went to the school where they spoke to several staff members and searched several offices and computers. Shortly before 4 pm, the school’s Principal Troy Jebodhsingh and its Sports Manager Nigel Lackhan were seen leaving the Siparia Road, Fyzabad school compound with the officers.
Investigations were prompted after rumours that two of the players on the Fyzo Tigers team were fraudulently registered as they did not have the necessary qualifications to gain admission into Lower Six. The school was subsequently suspended from the premier league and principal Jebodhsingh also pulled them from all other competitions until internal and external investigations are concluded.
Yesterday, president of the SSFL William Wallace said he was saddened that it had come to this. Wallace said what was bad is that children were engaged in the conspiracy and the message cannot be positive.
“That is the real unfortunate thing about all of this. From where we stand as educators and if we are supposed to be the change agents that we are, then these are not things you do. For us it is totally unacceptable and at the end of the day let the chips fall where it may.” He said that 4,000 students across the country are engaged in playing football at different levels and the message being sent to them is not positive.Asked whether it would have tainted the league’s reputation, Wallace said there are 16 schools playing at a premier division, another 40 plus engaged in the championship division and others in senior division under 16 and under 14.
Saying he was unaware of the Fraud Squad’s visit to the school yesterday, Wallace said he was not surprised because the police investigation is active.
“Can’t say I am too surprised at all, but I am very sad that it had to come to this.”