William Wallace has resigned as president of the Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) on Monday, as this year's season seems to be uncertain.
The embattled schools' football boss who is also leading a challenge for the United T&T Football Association against football's world governing body- the FIFA to have them reinstated as the legitimate administrators of local football, handed in his resignation letter at a meeting of the executive at the Carapichaima East Secondary schools yesterday morning, four months after he was expected to do so. Phillip Fraser, the first vice president of the SSFL was appointed interim president until the League holds its Annual General Meeting at a date and time to be announced.
Fraser told Guardian Media Sports that, "Based on our last meeting in March sometime before COVID-19, we were to have a meeting where Mr Wallace was going to tender his resignation then but we did not have any meeting and at this meeting, he tendered his resignation with immediate effect."
Meanwhile, action in the Secondary Schools Football League may not take place until the Ministry of Health and its Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr Roshan Parasram, in conjunction with the Ministry of Education can decide on a way forward Fraser explained further. Yesterday's meeting which was also scheduled to decide on the structure and format of the SSFL season this year could only deliver an act of precaution for the thousands of young student-footballers and their colleagues at the various schools.
Fraser in his first real foray as school football leader said: "Presently, we cannot make no decisions as regard competition until we get guidelines from the Ministry of Education. They have given an interim decision where teams can start training, but they are waiting on guidelines from the CMO and the Ministry of Health as regards children. Remember they are still preparing guidelines, even with the T&T Pro League, there are no definite guidelines from the ministry of health or the CMO for football as yet."
He added: "What is going to happen presently is that we have to wait on all the stakeholders and the stakeholders at the ministry of education, the principals and the schools involved. So what we have done in the interim is we have asked the schools to go back to their zones and their executives and have discussions on what can happen. What are the contingencies that can be put in place if football can play. It has a lot to do with if we are having a crowd or no crowd, and how we can avoid crowds"
On June 10, Wallace hinted at a shortened season, saying they were facing several setbacks such as lack of funding for schools and the uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic. But Fraser said the zones were charged with the responsibility to return with ideas in two weeks, noting they are supposed to have some initiatives to offer when the education ministry contacts them.
The ministry of education is expected to make a pronouncement in August and the principals, based on the funding available to them, will have to look at it and decide if they can have football.
Fraser said he was ruling out scrapping the league for now, as he prefers to wait. "Children are anxious to play football, remember they were inside all the time, there are lots of stored-up energy, but the safety of the children must be paramount. So there is no real rush to play until the guidelines are as strict as possible."
Wallace resigns as SSFL president, 2020 season still in limbo pending Health guidance
By Lasana Liburd (Wired868).
Embattled Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) president William Wallace appears to have conceded his portfolio as Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) president, in the first major fall-out from recent revelations regarding his tenure in charge of the TTFA.
Wallace, a retired Carapichaima East Secondary vice-principal, allegedly submitted his resignation today in a SSFL executive committee meeting in Carapichaima. First vice-president Phillip Fraser will now act as interim president of the schools body.
Wired868 was unable to reach Wallace for confirmation while executive members were unwilling to speak on the record. However, off the record, members said Wallace appeared to be feeling the emotional toll of recent scandals and his colleagues were sympathetic.
Still, his offer to leave was accepted. His position was felt to have become untenable.
At present, Wallace and TTFA vice-presidents Clynt Taylor, Susan Joseph-Warrick and Sam Philip are resisting Fifa’s attempt to install a normalisation committee in Trinidad and Tobago. But even that colossal contest has been overshadowed by incidents involving Wallace more directly—as he shouldered much of the blame for TTFA contracts handed to Men’s National Senior Team head coach Terry Fenwick, general secretary Ramesh Ramdhan and marketing director Peter Miller, as well as a kit deal with Avec Sport.
In all four cases, the TTFA Board was kept in the dark about the terms of the agreement, or whether a deal existed at all, until after the fact. It was not SSFL business; but the schools league, which is run by the respective principals, did not appreciate being associated with such controversial behaviour.
Wallace was elected unopposed as SSFL president on 1 April 2017, replacing Anthony Creed, and was re-elected unopposed last year. He was voted in as TTFA president on 24 November 2019 and suggested that he would resign from the schools job at the subsequent AGM.
Wallace had a change of heart when Fifa moved in on 17 March 2020 and announced that it had overthrown the TTFA’s elected officials, who were to be replaced with a normalisation committee. Since then, he said he would hold on to his SSFL position until the Fifa matter was cleared up.
In the end, the best that Wallace could hope for was to leave on his own terms, which he did today.
The 2020 SSFL season remains in doubt as administrators grapple with issues related to Covid-19. Wired868 understands that school administrators are awaiting directives from the Ministry of Health, which will be key in deciding whether to hold its 2020 competitions.
There is also a financial element, as principals must discuss their respective budgets for sport while Digicel/Sportsmax remain indebted to the SSFL to the tune of TT$1 million for the 2019 season.
Wired868 understands that Digicel/Sportsmax has given a commitment to meeting its arrears although no specific timeline was agreed. Incidentally, Sportsmax’s Sport Zone show has been very critical of Wallace’s behaviour as TTFA president.
Executive committee members were advised today that other sponsors warned of their unwillingness to be associated with any competition which carries adverse health risks to young men and women. It leaves the SSFL at the mercy of clearance from Ministry of Health Chief Medical Officer Dr Roshan Parasram.
Wallace will play no role in addressing the current issues, though.
Wired868 understands that executive members thanked Wallace for his credible stewardship of the schools’ game, over the past three years. But, apparently, they all agreed that it was time to say goodbye.
Ironically, Fifa’s disbandment of the TTFA Board has made it difficult for Wallace to face administrators from the local governing football body, while interim Pro League chairman Brent Sancho and Veteran Footballers Foundation president Selby Browne urged stakeholders to boycott the United TTFA slate’s attempt to hold an unofficial general meeting.
It has left Wallace without an opportunity to face TTFA members and present his case to them, or take their feedback.
Up to the time of publication, there was no suggestion that Wallace would similarly relinquish his role as TTFA president.
Fraser is new schools football boss
Ian Prescott (Express).
PHILLIP FRASER is the man now in charge of secondary schools football in Trinidad and Tobago.
Fraser takes the helm, after president William Wallace stepped down following Monday’s annual general meeting.
Currently involved in a legal battle with football’s governing body FIFA, Wallace confirmed his stepping aside from the SSFL yesterday.
“I had indicated since December that I was just waiting on the AGM in March (to step down). The AGM, of course, was not held and was postponed because of the Covid-19. Our first meeting (since then) would have been Monday. I did what I said,” Wallace stated.
Schools league vice-president Fraser assumes the role as acting president, until the SSFL calls fresh elections in 60 days.
Wallace felt he had left the SSFL in a good position.
“I was able to consolidate sponsorship at the different levels. All the divisions were sponsored,” he said.
Under his watch, an arrangement was reached with regional broadcaster SportMax to have Trinidad and Tobago schools football televised and Wallace was also proud of being able to initiate scouting with foreign coaches, allowing them to have a look at the best available local talent in the Secondary Schools Football League
“We were able to bring down the scouts to have a look at our players in our end-of-season game, “ Wallace noted.
Wallace steps down as SSFL president
By Joel Bailey (Newsday).
WILLIAM Wallace has stepped down as president of the Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL), effective immediately.
Wallace, the ousted TTFA president, offered his resignation, on Monday morning, at a SSFL Annual General Meeting (AGM), at the Carapichaima East Secondary School.
Phillip Fraser, who was the first vice-president, will take over at the helm of the SSFL until further notice.
Wallace replaced Anthony Creed as SSFL president on April 1, 2017. During his time as SSFL boss, he attracted sponsorship from regional sports channel Sportsmax, as well as corporate bodies Digicel and Shell.
The former Carapichaima East teacher was elected TTFA president on November 24, 2019, but his executive was removed by FIFA in March and a normalisation committee set up, due to mounting debts from the local governing body for football.
Ironically, in June, Sportsmax Zone highlighted a few incidents involving Wallace during his stint as TTFA president, including contracts to T&T men’s team coach Terry Fenwick, general secretary Ramesh Ramdhan, marketing official Peter Miller and sportswear company Avec Sports.
Wallace insisted on Monday that his resignation as SSFL had nothing to do with the recent controversies, as he had planned to step down at the scheduled AGM on March 20. That meeting was put on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic.