Porus Football Festival set to kick off

Venom Football Club celebrate with their trophy after winning the Porus Football Festival at Porus Community Centre in Porus, Manchester, in 2022.

THE Porus Football Festival makes its return to Manchester this evening after a postponement out of concern about rainy weather affecting the island recently.

The tournament was to begin on Sunday but organisers say the decision to postpone was made primarily with the safety of players, officials, and spectators in mind. Those matches have been moved to Wednesday.

Staged annually at the Porus Community Centre in Porus, Manchester, since 2016 the PFF was co-founded by former Jamaica Football Federation President Crenston Boxhill and Manchester businessman Karam Persad. It returned last year after a two-year hiatus brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, attracting a record number of participating teams and unprecedented night attendance that exceeded 2000 patrons on a weekday. This, organisers say, has cemented the event as one of the few night football tournaments in Jamaica.

The PFF will have 16 teams competing over six weeks for a prize of $250,000. It is to wrap up on July 16 with a star-studded celebrity football match that promises the presence of legendary football figures such as former Reggae Boyz Theodore Whitmore and Walter Boyd, who delighted thousands of fans in the previous edition. Former National Technical Director Rene Simoes, who guided the Reggae Boyz to their historic FIFA World Cup in 1998, will also make an appearance as this year’s tournament will celebrate the 25th anniversary of that feat.

The closing night of the tournament will feature a concert that organisers say is expected to rival prominent music festivals like Reggae Sumfest.

Last year’s event featured Bounty Killa, Beenie Man, Jahshii, and other acts who captivated a packed venue of 10,000 spectators.

This year, PFF organisers say the aim is to deliver an equally sensational experience, with over 500 returning enthusiasts and fans from all across Jamaica anticipated for the event.

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