What will their season look like?
With outdoor polo in the UK coming to an end and the world’s best players returning to their native Argentina all eyes turn to the Argentine Spring season in the setting of Covid-19. As with the UK, it is the Government and more specifically The Ministry of Health which dictates what can be done and where. At the moment, Argentina’s mandatory lockdown is in place until 11 October and currently only polo practices behind closed doors are being allowed, which is a well-worn routine for all of us here in the UK. So, realistically, there is little chance of polo seeing a loosening of restrictions from the AAP before 19 October, which should be seen as the most optimistic date possible.
All over the globe, the difficulty continues to be the constantly changing situation regarding the pandemic’s grip and the associated restrictions every day. It’s hard to tell exactly what is going to happen and when.There has been talk that only the Hurlingham, Tortugas and Open matches, which form the Triple Crown series, will be allowed to play, but this seems unlikely. As with the UK season, what is more likely to happen is tournaments will have to change dates and the season either be condensed after an initial delay, or extended to allow extra time for postponed tournaments to take place.
Earlier worries about Argentinian players being unable to return from playing contracts abroad and players without permanent residency in Argentina being unable to gain entry have so far proved largely unfounded. With Argentina coming into its summer, there is hope that restrictions will be relaxed further, with easing of incoming flights from abroad allowing patrons from the wider polo community, access to the country and polo as a whole. But, as we have all learnt, flexibility will have to the be the key.
Photograph: Will Argentine polo also be played behind closed doors? Or will spectators be allowed to watch?