Extract from the Kindle book – Sports the Olympics Forgot
Stalin really appreciated the ideals of the game, taking a capitalist game for only the very rich and making it into a sport that everyone could play. He immediately ordered that each Soviet city should create a hobby horse polo league and start playing the anti-capitalist sport. He declined the opportunity to sit on a hobby horse but he did hit the apparatchik who made the suggestion with a croquet mallet many times.
The sport also spread to India, Afghanistan, and Egypt during the next few years. After the partition of India in 1947 the first contact between India and Pakistan as sporting teams was at the 1949 Hobby Horse world championship in Almaty, where a last-gasp goal from India secured a 4-4 draw. Persia won each of the first eight world championships when they sent the team that won the Tehran championships, but once the rules were changed and a composite team of the best players was sent then they were never a force again, simply because the players from the Communist Party team refused to pass to any of their teammates from the Worker’s Party team and vice-versa.