Nigeria : Polo World Cup – Confident Team Off to Malaysia

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The Nigerian polo team to this year’s Polo World Cup qualifiers is expected to fly out of the country on Thursday for the glamorous Polo World Cup qualifiers holding in Malaysia from next week.

The team to be led by the Life Chairman of the Nigerian Polo Federation (NPF), His Royal Highness Emir of Katsina, Alhaji Abdulmumuni Kabir and NPF President, Francis Ogboro is jetting out from the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos aboard Emirates Airline flight to the Asian nation enroute Dubai.

The team that has Nigeria’s most experienced player, Dawule Baba as the coach and NPF Secretary, Mohammed Kyari as Team Manager, would battle teams from six other countries drawn from Africa, Asia and Oceania in a month long tournament.

The team which was selected after an intensive camping in Kaduna include Kaduna El-Amin Patron, Mohammed Babangida whose name top the final list of six players who will represent Nigeria at prestigious Zone D Polo World Cup qualifier billed for Kuala Lumpur.

The squad who would do their fatherland proud at the global event organize by the world polo governing body, Federation of International Polo (FIP), include such great stars like Bello Buba +5, his kid brother and one time five goaler, Hamisu Buba +4 and Nigeria’s most consistent midfield maestro, Ibrahim Mohammed +4.

Others include vastly improved Baba Dawule +1 who is on the verge of making history as the youngest player to ever play in the event which is the equivalent of the FIFA World Cup, and the daring Abdulmalik Badamasi +1

Team Coach, Dawule Baba who is a veteran of the World Cup play off, having worn the Green and White jersey of Nigeria at various championships, expressed satisfaction with the final list, insisting that his players would do the nation proud in Malaysia.

“Nigeria is a great polo playing nation bless with talented and skilful players who have all it takes to prove themselves at the global stage like the polo World Cup finals and we are positive that this trip to Malaysia will take Nigerian polo to the next level,” Dawule declares in Lagos.

The NPF President, Francis Ogboro said all the teams in the 14 goal FIP Polo World Cup were tough oppositions who are poised to get good result in Malaysia.

He expresses plenty of confidence in the Nigerian team and remain positive that the players who are focus, would create history by qualifying Nigeria for its first ever FIP Polo World Cup Final.

“Nigeria is one of the most established polo playing nations in Africa but we have never made it to the World Cup Finals. Hopefully, all this will change this June and polo history will be rewritten,” he prayed.

The Zone D World Cup tournament will pit Australia, New Zealand, Nigeria, South Africa, India, Pakistan and host Malaysia in a winner takes all polo confrontations that would produce three finalists that would proceed to Argentina for the grand finale in October.

Nigeria which is drawn in Stream C alongside Pakistan and South Africa is bracing up for a titanic clash against continental rival, South Africa in a potentially explosive opening game of the tournament on June 13, 2011 in the city of Kuantan.

Nigeria is scheduled to take on Pakistan in her second group game, before proceeding to the round robin stage of the event that is guanteed to atract polo enthusiasts from around the Asian continent and beyond.

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