Autumn 2021 reschedule for key FIP championships
THE FIP (Federation of International Polo) has agreed to suspend its tournament season through this autumn.
The decision by member clubs in the Americas and across Europe was taken last April following online meetings among delegates, directly affecting key tournaments including the 13th European Championships, due to be held in Azerbaijan this September.
The 12th World Championships that would have followed have been rescheduled for October 2021 in California, USA at Indio Polo Club. The FIP released a statement last month on behalf of its membership, indicating that the decision to suspend championships was due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“The health of the players, horses and staff is of the utmost importance for us and taking into account recommendations and guidelines from (the World Health Organisation) WHO, we have agreed with the (Equestrian Federation of Azerbaijan) ARAF to postpone the date until we have a clear understanding of the situation and the travel restrictions are lifted,” read the statement. “Once all is settled, we will establish the most appropriate date for the tournament to take place.”
The FIP promotes polo worldwide through more than 86 member countries while representing the sport on the International Olympic Committee. Polo was last played as an Olympic sport at the Berlin Games in 1936, and the FIP along with representatives on national committees have been promoting its reinstatement for more than a decade.
“The idea is that we will all work together and cooperate in order that all associations are able to have the best possible polo season while minimizing the effects of the pandemic and prioritising the health and safety of players, umpires, grooms and everyone who helps out at polo events,” the statement continued. “As the situation is rapidly changing it has been agreed that digital meetings will be held regularly, and information will be sent to all polo associations via FIP’s communication channels.”