EL-Amin wins 13th Georgian Cup, as MTN clinches Sardauna Cup
Seven exciting days of polo action at the prestigious MTN/Kaduna International Polo tournament came to an end with defending champions, EL-Amin, defeating arch rivals, Abuja Guards Rubicon, to retain the event’s biggest prize, the 13th Georgian Cup title.
The 2016 MTN International polo tourney, which attracted a record 45 teams from across the country, saw the Mohammed Babangida’s EL-Amin confirming their invincibility after denying Abuja Guards Rubicon a shot at the oldest polo trophy in Africa. Their victory came just as teams MTN clinched a sensational victory to claim the Sardauna Cup.
Defending champions, EL-Amin came from behind to edge Rubicon 10-8 in a tense final game to retain the continental title and added the Argentine Ambassador Cup in a show of supremacy.
However, their clean sweep was punctured by the determined MTN team, who defeated the champions 3-1 in the last game of the international polo festival, to win the coveted Sardauna Cup, played in the evergreen memory of the late Premier of Northern Nigeria, Sir Ahmadu Bello.
Georgian Cup and Argentine Ambassador’s Cup victories proved to be the boost other Kaduna teams needed in their quest for major trophies, despite stiff competitions visiting teams from Kano, Port Harcourt, Katsina, Sokoto, Maiduguri, Yola, Abuja, Bauchi, Minna and Jos, who were all pushing for top finish.
Kaduna Sublime defeated three other oppositions, to win their first ever Emir of Katsina Cup title, just as Sadiq Wali’s Terra P&E side from Kano, finished runners up in their first attempt at the event’s second most wanted prize in the Kaduna international event powered by MTN.
Kano Titan defeated Amana Insurance in a hotly contested final to win the NCC Cup, while the Kaduna Insurers surged ahead to win the Kere Ahmed Cup in their final clash against Yola BSC team.
The glittering EL-Amin Cup, which is one of the major polo titles at stake in Kaduna was won by Katsina Gobarau team that battle through a crowded field of twenty five ambitious oppositions to snatch a 7-4 victory against former champions, Bauchi Kari in the final.
Speaking after the competition, the captain of El-Amin, Mohammed Babangida ascribed the team’s victory to commitment of the players saying: “We want to thank our teeming supporters for their trust and urging us on even when we fell behind in the early chukkas. This is a great achievement that would motivate us in future because winning the Georgian title a record thirteen times take a lot of commitment and courage.”
Event & Sponsorship Manager, MTN Nigeria, Dola Bamgboye described the tournament as one of the biggest polo fiesta in Africa. He congratulated other winners for their sportsmanship and discipline, urging those who did not win to work harder to achieve the desired success at MTN powered international fiesta next year.
“I want to specially thank the good people of Kaduna State, the government, our royal fathers, Kaduna Polo Club, and polo enthusiasts for their loyalty to the MTN brand and for making the international fiesta the biggest and the most glamorous polo event in the country,” he declared.
Bamgboye said the communication giant would continue to promote the noble game of polo because the sponsorship is in line with MTN’s bid to tap into the passion of its high value customers by connecting with them through the brand’s life enriching products and services that suites their life styles and aspirations.
Other glittering prizes carted home by the deserving winners included the Shehu Kangiwa Cup, Dangote Cup, General Hassan Katsina Cup, Dangote Cup, Hassan Hadejia Cup, the Governor’s Cup and the President’s Cup that went to Baba Kyari’s led Platinum team.
Emir of Katsina team captain by Jos polo Club Chairman, Abdul Ganiyu Lawal turn back the Nigerian Polo Federation (NPF) side, to win the Veterans Cup.
Some dignitaries at the grand finale included the Life Chairman of Nigerian Polo Federation (NPF), HRH Emir of Katsina, Alhaji , (Dr.) Abdulmumuni Kabir Usman, Lamido Adamawa, HRH Alhaji (Dr.) Muhammadu Barkindo Musdafa, Emir of Keffi HRH Alhaji Shehu Mussa (111) and Kano, HRH Alhaji Kabiru Kashim,
Others were Adamwa State Governor, Senator Muhammadu Bindo, Borno State Governor Alhaji Shetima and former governor of defiant Kaduna state, Lawal Kaita. Ministers, business leaders and diplomats, were also part of the crowd.
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