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  • Deadline Set for Tonga 2019


    (ATR) If Tonga is to host the 2019 Pacific Games, it must resolve its status by June 30 the Pacific Games Council says.

    Tonga winning the 2019 Pacific Games (Pacific Games Council)
    The PCG says in a release that “it has put contingency plans in place” for finding a new host if Tonga is unable to meet its requirement for hosting the 2019 Games. Those plans came out of a meeting by the PGC Executive Board to address the ongoing situation in Tonga.

    Earlier this month, the Tongan government gave official intent to withdraw hosting the 2019 Games to the PGC. The government said rising costs projected in a World Bank report was the reason behind its decision.

    The Tongan government is not in charge of organizing the Pacific Games, the Tonga Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee is. According to the PCG, TASNOC remains committed to staging the 2019 Games.

    Lord Sevele, Pacific Games chief executive, told Matangi Tonga earlier this month that government assistance would only count for 30 percent of the Games’ budget. Sevele said that memorandums from Australia, China, and New Zealand have been signed to receive a large amount of funding for the Games. The bulk of that funding is coming from China.

    The PCG Executive Board said in a statement that there will be “one last attempt” to keep the Games in Tonga in the next month. The body says “in the Pacific way” that the door remains open for renewed talks with the Tongan government, if it responds to requests for meetings.

    “The PGC has previously written to the Prime Minister with this offer but will now ask TASNOC to facilitate an appointment for PGC representatives to meet with him and the Cabinet in early June to begin a process of reviewing the Games’ cost structures,” the PGC statement said.

    Written by Aaron Bauer

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