MTN/KADUNA POLO 2016
The 2016 edition of the Qcame to a pulsating end with high flying EL-Amin walking away with the most prestigious trophy of the tournament: the Georgian Cup.
The Kaduna-based team defeated neighbours, Abuja Guards Rubicon, 10-8 in a tense final game to win the Georgian Cup, the oldest polo trophy in Africa, for the 13th time. El-Amin also won the Argentine Ambassador Cup in the competition.
El-Amin’s winning streak was however brought to an end after they suffered a shocking defeat from a selected MTN side in the Sardauna Cup played in honour of the late Premier of Northern Nigeria, Sir Ahmadu Bello.
The glittering EL-Amin Cup, also a major trophy in the competition, was carted away by Katsina Gobarau who saw off stiff challenge from 25 other participating teams. They snatched a 7-4 victory against former champions, Bauchi Kari in the final.
In other games, Kaduna Sublime defeated three other teams to win their first ever Emir of Katsina Cup title while Sadiq Wali’s Terra P&E’s side from Kano finished runners up. Interestingly, it was the Kano team’s first attempt at the tournament’s second most coveted prize.
Kano Titans, yet another Kano State based team, defeated Amana Insurance from Kaduna in a hotly contested final to win the NCC Cup. It was not all gloom for Kaduna state though as Kaduna Insurers surged past BSC team from Yola in their final clash, to win the Kere Ahmed Cup.
Speaking of the team’s success, the Patron of the El-Almin team, Mohammed Babangida praised the gallantry of the players for the victory and also appreciated their fans for their unflinching support.
He said: “Winning the Argentine Cup and Georgian Cups took a lot of hard work and commitment so I want to appreciate my team for making this happen. We also want to say thank you to our fans and supporters because they got us to where we are today,” he said.
Also speaking was the Sponsorships & Events Manager, MTN Nigeria, Okundola Bamgboye, who praised the winners for their sportsmanship and discipline. Bamgboye also congratulated the organisers of the tournament for a successful competition.
In his words: ‘I want to specially appreciate the government, our royal fathers, Kaduna Polo Club, polo enthusiasts and most especially the good people of Kaduna State for their loyalty to the MTN brand and for making this tournament the biggest and the most glamorous polo event in the country,” he declared in his closing remarks.
Dignitaries in attendance at the grand finale included the Life Chairman of Nigerian Polo Federation (NPF), HRH Emir of Katsina, Alhaji Abdulmumuni Kabir Usman, Lamido Adamawa, HRH Alhaji Muhammadu Barkindo Musdafa, Emir of Keffi HRH Alhaji Shehu Mussa(111) and Kano, Alhaji Kabir Tijjani Hashim, the Dan Isan Kano.