Action from a Nigerian polo game
By Sunleye-Solawumi Olaleye
Nigeria’s top player, Bello Buba, has been selected at the top of a new list of players to form the national team to contest for a place in the next edition of the Polo World Championship, which will take place in Estancia Grande, Argentina late in the year. Buba of handicap +5 leads nine others in the selection for the new national side released Tuesday.
The team will play in the world round Zone D Playoffs holding in Malaysia in June, to fight for a Nigerian ticket to the Finals.
The Executive Committee of the Nigeria Polo Federation, in releasing the new list of players for the national side, said Tuesday that the special on-pitch qualities of the players, plus their level of handicap had been put into consideration in reaching the decision on whom to invite.
Others in the list to form the new national polo team are Hamisu Buba (+4), Dawule Baba (+4), Jamilu Mohammed (+4), Mohammed Babangida (+4) and Mamuda Shehu (+4). Also included are Ibrahim Abba (+3), Aliyu Dahiru (+2), Baba Dawule (+1) and Maliki Badamasi (+1).
Congratulating the 10 players yesterday, the Secretary of the federation, Mohammed Kyari asked the players to carefully study the rules and guide book of playing polo at the international level and then respond back to the federation not later than tomorrow, indicating that they accept to abide by the rules of international polo and be a member of the national team of their country.
Kyari also said in the letter to each of the ten players that should they accept to join the national team, they should remember from the moment they accepted the invitation that since they will be wearing the colours of Nigeria in the tourament, they would be ready to uphold and abide by the rules and regulations of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the host country Malaysia, the NPF and that of the world body of the game, the Federation of International Polo, FIP.
Kyari also reminded the players that those international rules the players would be ready to observe would include the anti-doping codes of WADA for athletes and other relevant disciplinary rules.
Training towards the World Cup Playoffs is expected to begin in May, by which time a single national coach or a team of technical crew would have been appointed for the team.
The final selection of six players (a starting team of four and two substitutes), based on the recommendation of the head coach of the team and inputs from the Executive Committee of the federation will be announced by the end of May.
The World Championship of 2011, which is taking place in Argentina, is the ninth edition of the tournament. The last edition of it, played in Mexico City, Mexico, has Chile emerging as champions, dethroning Brazil, who had won the last two editions and was their opponent in the final match on May 3, 2008.