September 2, 2010
Chile team after winning Polo World Championships in 2008
It was recently announced that Argentina has won their bid to host the 9th edition of the FIP Polo World Championships in October 2011. Whilst all of the in-depth details are not yet known, here are the key details that have been announced so far…
The preliminary games will be played at the Estanda Grande Polo Club in San Luis, before the actual competition moves to Palermo, Buenos Aires. There will be four polo grounds and stabling for around 280 horses. There has also been a pooling system put in place for horses so as to limit the transportation costs for moving horses around the world. The draw of the horses’ pool will be completed on the 12th October 2010.
10 Teams will qualify for the Championships after play offs that will take place during 2011.
For the sake of the playoffs, all continents have been separated into geographic zones;
Zone A: North Africa/Central America
Zone B: South America
Zone C: Europe
Zone D: Africa/Asia/Oceania
Two teams from each of these geographic zones will be chosen to compete against each other, plus the hosts, Argentina and the reigning champions, Chile. It has been announced that the qualifying competition will be held in Malaysia in June 2011 for Zone D, and will be held in Brazil for Zone B. The other dates and locations will are still waiting to be announced.
Mexico was the home of the last edition in 2008, where Chile reigned supreme after a battle against Brazil in the final. There were various events such as a fashion show, a concert and a black tie dinner after the final tournament, and Argentina promises to deliver an equally extravagant itinerary.
The first edition of the championships was held in Argentina in 1987, and the 2011 edition is hoping to follow the success of this in the same location.