A friendly soccer game between a Canadian and a Jamaican team has netted Cdn$5,000 for the Jamaican Hurricane Ivan Relief Fund.
The organizers of the first-ever Arnold Milan International Soccer Cup have donated proceeds from the game played in Toronto on September 19, between Jamaican Premier League 2003 Champion, Portmore United, and the Canadian Professional Soccer League’s (CPSL) Metro Lions, to the fund set up by the Jamaican Consulate General in Toronto.
The game, originally scheduled for Sept. 12 was postponed because Hurricane Ivan prevented the team from leaving Jamaica to travel to Canada. At first, funds realized from the match were to be shared between the two soccer clubs. However, after the devastation of Hurricane Ivan, it was agreed that the proceeds would go to the relief effort.
Jamaica’s Consul General to Toronto, Vivia Betton (2nd right) with Horace Reid (2nd left), Technical Director and Head Coach of Portmore United football club; Anthony Modeste (right), Captain of the team and Voja Jurisic, Special Events Director of the Metro Lions Soccer Club.
At a press conference hosted by the Metro Lions before the game started, Bill Dixon, Administrator for the Milan Group, explained that the two teams would not be facing each other as competitors, but as friendly rivals. “The two teams facing each other will do so as friends, as partners, and as compatriots for a common cause – to raise funds for the Jamaican hurricane relief,” said Mr. Dixon.
Technical Director and Head Coach of Portmore United, Horace Reid, told the gathering that, “the southwestern part of our country has been absolutely rocked by the Hurricane,” and said it was good to be playing for people who are in need.
Jamaica’s Consul General to Toronto, Vivia Betton, thanked the organizers for donating the proceeds of the game to the hurricane relief fund. Noting that sport was one of Jamaica’s most popular and revered traditions, the Consul General said the match was “an opportunity to showcase our talents and skills.”Even though the Metro Lions came away with a 1-0 victory, in the end, the victims of Hurricane Ivan were also winners.
Jamaica’s Consul General to Toronto, Vivia Betton (centre) pose with players from the Portmore United football club at the Consulate in Canada.
The Arnold Milan International Cup is expected to be an annual event, providing an opportunity for professional soccer players in Toronto to play against professional teams from around the world.