Adeduntan restates bank’s commitment to Georgian Cup
The longest sponsor of a sports competition in Nigeria’s history, First Bank Nigeria Limited has restated its commitment to bankrolling polo’s most coveted trophy, the Georgian Cup.
Speaking at the 100th edition of the glamorous Cup in Kaduna over the weekend, the Chief Executive Officer of FirstBank, Dr. Adeola Adeduntan said the shared value of passion, heritage and excellence has helped the bank sustain the sponsorship, saying the bank had recommitted to the sponsorship of Georgian Cup for another 100 years.
“We are happy to be a longtime partner of Kaduna Polo Club. It is a rare opportunity and we want to thank the Club for it”, the CEO said, adding that “We will continue to support the club and Georgian Cup for the next 100-years’’.
FirstBank sponsorship of Georgian Cup has already been tagged as a Guinness World Record Potential.
Meanwhile, the clash the finalists in this year’s Georgian Cup lived up to expectation as both teams put polo fans, including government functionaries and royal fathers, on their toes throughout the Six Chukker round.
The finalists, Abuja Rubicon led by Aviation Minister, Hadi Sirika, and Lintex Agad, led by Bashir Dantata, saw Rubicon fighting back from three goals deficit to win the competition by 7-6 at full time. The victory is the third for Abuja since joining the High Goal cadre. Rubicon had won the trophy in 2012 and 2016.
Sirika, who was excited by the outcome, thanked FirstBank for their support for Polo over the years.
Part of the highlights of the weeklong competition was the introduction of Blue Jacket to previous Georgian Cup winners with a pledge by the president of the club, Suleiman Abubakar to ensure that henceforth winners of the Georgian Cup would be robed in BlueJacket.
The awardees were Bala Shagari, Amana Idi, Dawule Baba, Jamilu Mohammed, Babangida Hassan Katsina, Adamu Yaro, Ibrahim Mohammed and Bello Buba, who has won the Georgian Cup a record 18 times.
Other Georgian legends decorated with the Blue Jackets were Mohammad Babangida, whose EL-Amin remains the first team to have won the Georgian Cup 14 times since its inauguration in 1919.
With a surging crowd watching on at a packed legendary Murtala Mohammed Polo Ground, Rubicon defeated the hard fighting Lintex to win the Georgian Cup title, making it a double for the Abuja-based polo kings, whose second team had earlier clinched the Emir of Katsina Cup.
In doing so, Rubicon became the first Abuja based polo team to have won the title thrice in the over a century history of one of the biggest and most revered polo cups in the world.
“It feels fantastic,” Minister of Aviation and Rubicon team patron, Senator Hadi Sirika enthused moments after receiving the 400-year-old trophy from Dr. Adeola Adeduntan at a colourful ceremony.
“It is such a proud moment; it is a historical event for Kaduna and polo across all of Nigeria and indeed Africa. We want to say a big thank you to First Bank and our teeming fans and to all those who believe in us.” He added.
Other winners at the glamorous polo fiesta include Rubicon (2), Kaduna Trappco and Abuja Guards, teams. Their sterling performances fetched them the Emir of Katsina Cup, the Imani Cup, and the EL-Amin Cup respectively.
“On behalf of our main sponsor, First Bank, I would like to congratulate Rubicon and other proud winners on their achievements,”
Kaduna Polo Club President, Suleman Abubakar declared.
“I would also like to thank First Bank and our other esteem sponsors, partners whose commitments and participation make the Georgian Cup centenary such a prestigious and memorable celebration.” He added in his closing remarks.
From its profound origins rooted in noble values to the naturally evolving symbiosis between player and horse; First Bank Georgian Cup polo tournament reflects the pure passion, quality, competitiveness, and fair play.
Present at the Centenary Georgian Cup are top government functionaries, business executives and royal fathers, including the Emir of Katsina, Alhaji Abdulmumini Kabir Usman, Katsina State Governor, Aminu Bello Masari and the Deputy Governor of Adamawa State, Martins Babale.