TV broadcast stops as Naps breach uniform rules

A ma­jor breach in the agree­ment by the 2018 Sec­ondary Schools Foot­ball League (SS­FL) triple crown cham­pi­ons Na­pari­ma Col­lege, has led to the can­cel­la­tion of the broad­cast of its open­ing match of the sea­son on Wednes­day.

The open­ing match be­tween 'Naps', as they are com­mon­ly called, and St Mary's Col­lege was sched­uled to be broad­cast­ed on Sports­max, the Caribbean sports ca­ble net­work at Lewis Street, San Fer­nan­do, but the LIVE broad­cast was pulled mo­ments be­fore the start, af­ter Guardian Me­dia Sports learnt that Na­pari­ma al­tered the kits of the of­fi­cial uni­form provider for the SS­FL- Jo­ma, in a move to pro­mote their spon­sors.


It is un­der­stood that Na­pari­ma had se­cured the spon­sor­ship of Tiger Tank and sought to en­graved their lo­go on the of­fi­cial Jo­ma uni­forms pro­vid­ed to them by the SS­FL, de­spite an agree­ment that Jo­ma is to be the of­fi­cial kit of the tour­na­ment.

This new de­vel­op­ment has caused out­raged among mem­bers of the schools fra­ter­ni­ty Guardian Me­dia learnt, since the south­ern­ers re­ceived a warn­ing from SS­FL of­fi­cials for us­ing the al­tered kits at last Sat­ur­day's open­ing Dig­i­cel School Cup be­tween them and Pre­sen­ta­tion Col­lege of San Fer­nan­do, which they won on penal­ties 5-4 at the Man­nie Ramjohn Sta­di­um in Mara­bel­la.

SS­FL of­fi­cials were im­me­di­ate­ly in­to an ex­ec­u­tive meet­ing to­day to de­cide on the way for­ward, af­ter threats by Sports­max to not do any match­es played by Na­pari­ma Col­lege.

The ex­ec­u­tive of the SS­FL will de­cide by Mon­day.

On Mon­day, Sha­ka His­lop, the SS­FL's am­bas­sador was among those dis­ap­point­ed by the move of the south­ern school, say­ing "I am dis­ap­point­ed by the ac­tions of Naps through­out. I felt that their ac­tions were not on­ly self-serv­ing, but were in­tend­ed to not just con­fus­ing but to de­ceive.

The en­tire league is go­ing to suf­fer for it, and not just the pre­mier di­vi­sion of the SS­FL, but every­thing that comes fur­ther down, all the younger age groups are al­so go­ing to face the ef­fects of, in my mind, what was a very poor­ly per­ceived, thought-out de­ci­sion by a sin­gle school."


Soon af­ter Williams Wal­lace, the SS­FL pres­i­dent al­so wad­ed in on the de­ci­sion of Na­pari­ma, say­ing by next Mon­day it will be de­ter­mined what the next step will be.

Wal­lace who was in­ter­viewed on the Dig­i­cel-owned Sports­max af­ter the match yes­ter­day said the mat­ter was dis­cussed among the Cham­pi­onship and Pre­mier Di­vi­sion schools at the ex­ec­u­tive and gen­er­al coun­cil lev­els, but Na­pari­ma dis­agreed with it.

"At the end of the day a vote was tak­en and 25 mem­bers vot­ed for the po­si­tion, as brought forth by the ex­ec­u­tive, one per­son vot­ed against and there were three ab­sten­tions.

The con­sti­tu­tion clear­ly states that all gen­er­al coun­cil de­ci­sions are fi­nal, and it can on­ly be over­ruled by the same gen­er­al coun­cil, or by our AGM. So when we left that meet­ing we felt that all the arm of the or­ga­ni­za­tion, and the process that we fol­lowed and every­thing, was all well.

Then we heard that Na­pari­ma may not fol­low the po­si­tion tak­en by the gen­er­al coun­cil. I thought it was just ru­moured, but dur­ing yes­ter­day, I re­al­ize the ru­mours were get­ting more and more, and I de­cid­ed to reach out to the prin­ci­pal of Na­pari­ma.

I sent a let­ter in­di­cat­ing the process that was tak­en, and it was con­sti­tu­tion­al, and it was based on the con­tract by Dig­i­cel etc, but there was no re­sponse to that."

Wednes­day's match be­tween the teams was al­lowed to be played but the de­ci­sion of the ex­ec­u­tive by Mon­day will de­ter­mine the fate of the south­ern champs.

Ef­forts to con­tact Na­pari­ma's team man­ag­er Per­cy Sam­lals­ingh were un­suc­cess­ful.

Reporter: Walter Alibey

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