The nation’s capital is already bubbling with excitement ahead of the prestigious 2023 Abuja Carnival Polo Festival as the Guards Polo Club is expected to roll out the red carpet to welcome dignitaries including diplomats, top government functionaries and several key stakeholders and over twenty teams participating in the tournament.
Addressing the media in Abuja on Friday ahead of the opening ceremony, President Guards Polo Club, Abdulahi M. Ibrahim told our correspondent that the tournament is in the spirit of carnival and the club is ready to give a top notch tournament that will be envy of all.
According to him, “Over 37 matches will be played. We are working tirelessly to have a second pitch. There’s going to be live streaming of our matches the first time such is happening. There is going to be plenty of music, food, arts , culture and sports such as archery. It is going to be pomp and pageantry,” he said.
Flanked by other officials of the club which include the 1st vice president Mustapha Junaidu, secretary Aliyu Umar and Muktar Adhama the Tournament Director.
Ahead of the much-anticipated Abuja Carnival Polo Festival, defending champions Jos Malcomines, Nigerian Army, Police and Rubicon top the list of teams jostling for laurels as the tournament blasts off at the foremost Guards Polo Ranch in the Federal Capital City.
Already, a record entry of teams from all the major polo centres across the country are jostling for top prizes at stake in the week-long festival that would remain the biggest tourism cum polo event in the years to come.
With over twenty teams participating in the grand carnival event, competition will be intense for the foremost President Cup which is the event’s biggest prize.
Other top trophies to be carted home by the winners include the FCT Minister’s Cup, the Legislative Shield, and the crowded Guards Brigade Trophy that pits over ten equally matched and ambitious teams in a battle royal to decide the winner of the low-goal prize.
Guards Polo Resort Captain, Muktar Adahama who promised that this year‘s event would get better as it has always been over the years, added: “It’s going to be a week of thrilling polo experience for the lovers of the game. “Our commitment to this tournament remains strong and we are absolutely passionate about the tournament.”
“We are also using this carnival polo tournament to let more polo enthusiasts and the business community know that the Nigerian capital city has a facility like the Guard Polo Club that can comfortably host an international polo tournament of any magnitude.
“Our pitch is in top shape and the location of the club remains a tourist delight. Adahama declared. “Those who will be part of this historic event are guaranteed a most exciting and memorable time in Abuja,” he added.
The prestigious Carnival which is packaged as one of the biggest carnival polo events in the world was established in 2005 to showcase the rich culture and the creative spirit of the people and cultural diversity of the Nigerian people.
Expected to grace the grand polo fiesta are a long list of royal fathers to be led by the Sultan of Sokoto, Emir of Katsina state governors, members of the National Assembly, diplomats, and thousands of polo buffs.
The tournament will come to a climax on 17th December.