Non-EEA Grooms and Player update
The following letter was published on the HPA website following a meeting in Buenos Aires between the HPA, AAP, AAJP and PPA discussing restrictions placed on non-EEA grooms and players. The letter was signed by Eduardo Novillo Astrada, Marcos di Paola, Luke Tomlinson, Juan Quintana, Eduardo Heguy, Victor Chua and Nicholas Wiles, on behalf of the HPA:
“On the 10 December representatives of the Argentine Players Association, the English Polo Players Association, the Argentine Polo Association and the HPA came together in Buenos Aires to discuss the current visa restrictions in English Polo for Non-EEA grooms and players.
The group confirmed a number of immediate priorities with regard to the current visa restrictions and agreed to work together to address these priorities through a co-ordinated engagement with the UK Government and Home Office, building on the significant work already undertaken by the HPA and FIP. This co-operation builds on the decision made by the Argentine Polo Association in June 2018 to reverse the measures imposed upon the British professional players in 2017 and also allowing up to three British players to play in the same team in AAP tournaments.
• Secure an extension for the 2019 season based on the endorsement criteria agreed by the Home Office for the 2018 season for Non-EEA polo grooms coming into the UK.
• Seek an extension for Non-EEA players with a valid visa for the medium and high goal, to play 12 goal and 8 goal polo with their employers.
• Engage with the Home Office to develop an application process for appropriately qualified Non-EEA polo players with handicaps of 2 goals or above to work with clubs in the UK to coach and develop the game at a grassroots level.
David Woodd from the HPA commented:
“Working more closely with the player associations and the AAP is really important to delivering on the immediate objectives we have set out today. We are focused on our continued engagement with the Home Office to remove the current restrictions in place for Non-EEA players and improve the health of polo in the UK at all levels.”
Eduardo Novillo Astrada from the AAP commented:
“What has been agreed is an important step forward in working together to remove restrictions on overseas players in the UK and we look forward to making progress in achieving these objectives.”
Photograph: The AAP, AAJP and HPA met in Buenos Aires to discuss the visa situation. By Tom Reynolds