By Joe Apu
No less than 36 teams have confirmed their places for the 2023 polo season just as the management of the foremost Lagos Polo Club has concluded plans for the 2023NPA/ GTCO Lagos International Polo Tournament billed to start on Saturday.
The 36 teams will jostle for four major prizes and six subsidiary laurels with teams fully armed with foreign professionals and fortified with thoroughbred Argentine horses ready for The Silver Cup, The Lagos Low Cup, The Open Cup and the event’s biggest prize, the Majekodunmi Cup respectively.
The subsidiary prizes are, the Oba of Lagos, Governor’s Cup, Adedapo Ojora Memorial Cup, Sani Dangote Cup, the Italian Ambassador’s Cup and the Independence Cup, Lagos Heritage Cup, Chief of Naval Cup, and the Independence Cup would also be won during the fiesta reputed as the oldest polo tournament in Africa, dating back to the early 1900s.
For the second time in the rich history of the international polo festival, the glamorous event would be decided over three weeks of bumper to bumper polo actions with six equally matched teams jostling for the Open Cup from Jan. 28- Feb.5 in the opening week.
The highly revered Majekodunmi Cup will take the center stage from February 7-12, 2023 with three teams including the defending champions, Lintex, former champions Leighton Kings and a debutant battling for the top prize.
The last week of February 7, 2023 would feature 27 teams drawn from major polo centers across the country locked in battle royale for the Low Cup and the Silver Cup and respectively. The race for the two major prizes gallops off February 8, while the winners are billed to emerge on February 19, in the final games of the tournament.
“It’s going to be three weeks of thrilling polo experience for our esteemed sponsors, partners and lovers of the noble game.” Tournament Manager, Olumayowa Ogunnusi disclosed at a world press conference heralding the 2023 edition.
Ogunnusi who commended the main sponsor GTCO and other sponsors stated that having gained reputation as one of the biggest polo tournaments in Africa, the Lagos Polo Club look forward to delivering great values for the sponsors and participants during the epoch fiesta.
Polo Captain, Rotimi Makanjuola , who gave a break of the teams vying for top honours also disclosed that professional players from Argentina, United Kingdom, South Africa, and professional umpires will also feature in the tournament.
Polo Club president, Bode Makanjuola stated that the club is rejuvenated with the continuous infrastructural upgrade stressing that the entire club has been primed for safety of players and horses to go with international standard.
Makanjuola also stated that with the number of teams and the caliber of players who would showcase their awesome skills, the 2023 edition promises an intense competition and a wonderful experience of entertainment for sponsors, players, guests and polo buffs alike.
Representative of the Mani Sponsor, GTCO, said the sponsorship of the 2023 NPA/GTCO Lagos International Polo Tournament, which has grown over the years to become one of the most anticipated social and sporting events, is a demonstration of the bank’s strong belief in the role of sports in developing and uniting the society.”