International Polo Tournament to come to the O2 Arena, London
It is already the world’s biggest selling arena, hosting rock concerts, opera, ballet and tennis. Now the O2 is to become an indoor polo venue.
Rivals: Polo captains Adolfo Casabal (Argentina), Chris Hyde (England), Jamie Le Hardy (Scotland) and Roddy Williams (South Africa) - Photo Source: This is London
February will see the official winter international arena polo match between Englandand Argentina at the Greenwich landmark.
Captain Michael Amoore, of the Hurlingham Polo Association, said: “The Gaucho International will be the culmination of an incredible arena season and a historic step for the sport itself.
“I cannot wait to see how the O2 transforms into the host venue for the world’s first internationals in an indoor polo arena. This really is incredible and unique.”
Arena polo is a faster version of the sport and is played on a smaller pitch with teams of three rather than the conventional four players.
The Gaucho International Polo event is being seen as an attempt to popularise the ancient game, known as the Sport of Kings, which is traditionally a pastime of the wealthy.
Until injuries forced his retirement in 2005, the Prince of Wales was a regularly competitor and both Princes William and Harry are keen players.
Alongside the match will be a “have-a-go-at-polo” area where the public will have an opportunity to try their hand at a game first played in the Far East in the 8th century BC. In addition to the feature match, there will be games between South Africa andScotland and Oxford and Cambridge.
David Campbell, president and chief executive of O2 operator AEG Europe, said:
“We are hugely excited to welcome Gaucho International Polo and give our visitors a chance to experience what I know will be a thrilling sporting event.”