Tonga Withdraws from Hosting Pacific Games

Tonga has cancelled their obligations in hosting the 2019 Pacific Games.

The decision was made after they received a World Bank report highlighting the economic difficulties they would face if they continue to host the games.

In 2015, Papua New Guinea hosted one of the best Pacific Games yet, with the newly renovated facilities around the nation’s Capital before it was handed over to Tonga at the closing ceremony. The PNG Government assured Tonga of their assistance to help prepare for the 2019 Pacific Games.

In October last year, CEO of the Games Organising Committee, Lord Sevele, said they were told Papua New Guinea would be forthcoming in assistance but haven’t seen anything as yet to confirm.

Earlier this year, the PNG Government reassured Tonga by helping in their preparations of hosting the 2019 Pacific Games, but Sports Minister, Justin Tkatchenko, said with the current economic status PNG is in, priority for spending would still be within the country.

The Tongan government took the advice from the World Bank report, and pulled out to save their country from making a costly mistake. Tonga will continue to renovate and maintain their facilities to help athletes prepare for the games. Their main concern was about how to generate income from the facilities after the 2019 Games.

Tonga is required to have an annual budget of 12 percent of the total cost of the expenses used to fund the construction and maintenance of the facilities.

The Tongan Government have sent a letter to the Pacific Games Council President, Vidya Lakhan, saying Tonga was going to withdraw from hosting the Pacific Games in 2019.

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Elijah Lavett

Elijah Lavett

is the youngest member of the EMTV Sports team at age 20. He is the resident Squash-master, but also enjoys Tennis and is an avid fan of the SP Hunters, all while hosting the long-running Sport Scene program.