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CK Portuguese Community Ready For World Cup Action

Chatham-Kent is coming down with a case of FIFA World Cup fever and the prescription seems to be cheering for Portugal.

According to Dominic doForno, general manager of the Portuguese Canadian Social Club of Chatham, there are roughly 200 Portuguese families in the area. Friday is particularly special for the community as Portugal is renewing one of the oldest rivalries in soccer against Spain and doForno said the sport means everything to his people.

“In Portugal, 90% of what you did was soccer,” doForno said. “You played it, you watched it, you discussed it. You’d get into arguments about soccer and then celebrations over it. Soccer is a big deal in our community and a lot of us brought that back over here.”

The club will be opening up early as the game is scheduled for 1:30pm. doForno said members are welcomed to bring friends and family to experience a soccer atmosphere they won’t be able to find anywhere else.

doForno predicted a 1-0 or 2-0 outcome for Portugal on Friday, mostly because they have the best player in the world in Cristiano Ronaldo. Just don’t try to tell him Lionel Messi is better.

“Not to take anything away from Messi, but I truly believe Ronaldo is just a bit above him,” doForno said. “You have to realize Ronaldo has played on many teams all over the world. Where did Messi play? He’s spent his whole career in Spain being babied through the system. There’s a whole team there to protect Messi, whereas Ronaldo has been on his own.”

The game kicks off another very special weekend for doForno and his community as they will be celebrating Our Lady Of Fatima.

doForno said they will be hosting 500 to 700 people at the club to get a taste of Portuguese culture.

“We are very accepting of everyone so anyone who wants to come by and taste of food and experience Portuguese culture, by all means, come on down,” he said.

The Portuguese Canadian Social Club of Chatham is located at 346 Grand Ave. E.