Nigeria’s Georgian Cup kings and regulars at Dubai Polo Gold Cup Series for the Julius Bäer Cup, EL-Amin polo team, sadly missed the international polo tourney this year. EL-Amin polo team became the first team from Africa to participate since inception in 2010.
The 2018 edition of the Gold Cup galloped off at the Al Habtoor Polo Resort & Club, with two games heralding the first day without the African flag bearer.
Organisers, who confirmed the final 12 team line up, said the African team that added so much verve and colours to the events at the previous editions would be sadly missed at the 18 goal prestigious tournament.
The Kaduna based African ambassadors have been part of the Dubai polo calendar that includes the Dubai Challenge, The Masters and the Gold Cup series that annually pitch top players across the world, and expectations were high that the Nigerian stars will again showcase the rich polo culture of Nigeria at the event this year.
Though there are no official reasons for Nigeria’s absence, there are strong indications that the tight business schedules that often take their patron out of the country and the inability of the team to adequately prepare together may be the major reasons.
The Gold Cup participation was a follow up to the hugely successful Dubai Polo Cup Invitational Tournament in 2009 that heralded EL-Amin international playing tour of Middle East.
The 2009 Dubai Polo Cup was an historic event as well as an eye opener which Team El-Amin (Aminu Alhaji, Bello Buba, Ibrahim Mohammed and Mohammed Babangida) used to showcase Nigeria’s prowess in the international top class polo action that the king of games is so popular for.
The Kaduna based polo champions, who arrived the United Arab Emirates on high as the most successful polo team in the continent; made Nigeria and indeed Africa proud with a classic campaign much to the pleasant surprises of their hosts who probably never expected such display from any African polo team.