“We need a season in England prior to the season in Argentina; I hope they can work it out”

Marcos di Paola, President of the Argentine Polo Players Association (AAJP), and the leading man behind King Power’s organisation in England, spoke to PoloLine via Instagram Live. Moreover, he spoke about the participation of the Thai based organisation in the upcoming season in England.

Among other issues, Negro Di Paola mentioned the following:

“We had everything ready for the Autumn season in Argentina, playing practices. Our idea was to play some of the AAP tournaments, as well as the Polo Tour at Centauros and Ellerstina with El Caburé, and play a tournament with Federico’s (Virasoro) son, Felipe, and my son Santiago, the idea being to play with the kids. And suddenly, the virus forced us to cancel everything.”

“Everything stopped abruptly, so I guess we will go ahead with several issues concerning polo in Argentina. There are board meetings within the AAP; they are setting everything up, and I will be at these board meetings. The AAP gave the Players Association a place in these meetings.”

“Magual is going very well, working with amateur polo, playing four times a week. I take care of my horses there. We are undergoing a moment of transition so we have to wait and and see how the kids will cope with it.”

“I let the kids to do their own thing and have fun; professional polo has become very difficult and competitive. I put everything I have at their disposal, and they can choose. They have all they need, they do have this advantage, but they will decide what they want to do.”

“King Power has been playing high goal in England for several years now. It all started in 2014 and by 2015 they had two lineups. We took a break in 2018, came back in 2019 and we were about to put two teams up again this year. This is a very challenging year, there are plenty of horses, players, a lot to be busy for. But we are in a moment of pause.”

“Vichai was a great fan of sports and his kids inherited his love for polo, football, all the sports. Top and Tal have decided to form a team each. Top suffered a couple of falls early this year, he got injured and couldn’t play a final. But they are enthusiastic about it. Top was going to play with Hilario Ulloa, Matt Perry and Jero del Carril, while Tal’s lineup was to include Juan Martín Zubía, Guillermo Terrera and Rodrigo Andrade.”

“I spoke to Top last year and I told him I decided to step out. I played last year because it was a very special occasion, but if we put two teams up now, I prefer not to do it and take care of everything from as manager. He understood and supported me; but we will play some medium goal competitions. They like to support clubs and tournaments like the Royal Windsor Cup. And when the polo season is over, we will stay in England, because the Premier League kicks off and they have to be there the most.”

“The HPA are announcing how they are coping with this in accordance to the government’s decisions. But in the current situation, it’s not that easy to predict anything. Now they announced that nothing will start before May 15. Everything is still in doubt. We polo players do need a season in England prior to the season in Argentina. I hope they can work it out, to give everybody the opportunity to work.”

“I think they will find a way, even if the season in England is played in July and August. In the worst case scenario, they should delay rather than cancel. Let’s see what happens in June and July, because the highlight in August is Sotogrande. It would be great if everybody (England, France, Spain) is able to have their seasons, fulfil their duties, and find dates.”

“In terms of playing in Argentina in May and June, well, the weather is OK in May, while it becomes rainy in June. But at the moment, all of us have our sights set on Europe; we will adapt in accordance to what they do there and I think the AAP understands this as well. It is very important that players can go back to work in order to play the spring season in Argentina.”

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