There were lots of sunshine, windy evenings, spectacular atmosphere, and epic finals at the recently concluded 2020 Kaduna international polo tournament that reaffirmed EL-Amin invincibility as Georgian Cup kings, providing a fitting silver Jubilee anniversary for the all-time champions.
Unlike other Kaduna tourneys, this one was special in many ways. First it was the edition that heralded the Guinness Book of Records recognition of Georgian Cup and First Bank as the longest running sporting sponsorship in the world, and the 101 edition of the prestigious event.
Unarguably Nigeria’s most accomplished team ever, EL-Amin polo organization made history on their Silver Jubilee celebration, defeating title holders, Abuja Rubicon for a record 15th title of the highly revered Georgian Trophy.
Secondly, the 2020 Kaduna polo extravaganza, provided a platform for EL-Amin to book their entry for recognition by the global institution, the Guinness Book of Record as the first Nigerian team to ever win one of the oldest polo trophies a record fifteen times.
It was on this very ground that they archived their high-goal status, earning their first Georgian title in 1999. Ironically, it was at the same legendary Murtala Square in Kaduna that they lost their treasured crown thrice to Abuja Rubicon last year.
That accounts for their only defeats in 11 years of high-goal polo campaign, before sweeping past Jos Malcomines and defeating title holders Rubicon 7-6 in a tense final, to reaffirm their supremacy as kings of Nigerian polo.
“Winning the Georgian Trophy on our Silver Jubilee anniversary means everything to me. I feel like it’s my first win,” team patron and defender, Mohammad Babangida, declared.
“We are happy we participated in the tournament, we are happier we won back the Georgian Cup for the 15th time which is the longest winning run by any team in the history of the Georgian Cup series” he added in a chat.
“Interestingly, the team has been together for 25 years now with the same players, myself, Ibrahim Mohammed and Bello Buba. We have contested for the Georgian Cup twenty times and having won it fifteen times, EL-Amin remains the only team to have won all high goal cups across the country.”
Founded in 1995, that, in truth, doesn’t confer the club with a long history. But their trailblazing achievements, as the kings of noble games, have been nothing short of phenomenal.
Today, thanks to their self-belief and consistency, Babangida and his big boys are proud winners in top polo laurels within and outside the country, with multiple wins of Nigeria’s high goal prizes.
Notably the IBB Cup, Majekodunmi Cup, Emir of Katsina Cup, Nigerian Cup, General Hassan Cup among other medium, and intermediate titles, many of which they have won multiple occasions.
“When we started, the first four years were tough. We were trying to get a strong team, good horses and good support base, so we sat back and reassessed the whole situation.” “This was the period between 1995 and 1998,” Team Patron, Mohammad Babangida pointed out.
In 2009, the EL –Amin team, with Bello Buba, Aminu Abubakar Alhaji, Ibrahim Mohammed and their Patron, Babangida, participated in the Al—Habtoor Cup Challenge in Dubai. The team also remains the first and the only African team to play in the prestigious Dubai Gold Cup series.