Radio531 PI Flower Talanoa

Radio531 PI Flowers

Tongan PM unlikely to change his mind on hosting 2019 Pacific Games

08 June 2017

Posted in: Pacific Radio News,

Tonga's Prime Minister 'Akilisi Pohiva is adamant the Kingdom won't be hosting the 2019 Pacific Games. 

Pacific Games Council President Vidhya Lakhan and Chief Executive Andrew Minogue, have been meeting with the Prime Minister this week in Nuku'alofa. 

Pohiva says his government wants to focus its resources on more important areas of economic development and that sport is not an urgent priority for them. 

Minogue says it's unlikely that Pohiva will change his mind.

"He made it very clear that he didn't see any room for negotiations," says Minogue.

The Pacific Games Council has told Pohiva that withdrawing from hosting the Games, would put his government in breach of contract and that legal action would be considered to seek damages.

Meanwhile veteran Tongan journalist Kalafi Moala claims Tonga's decision to pull out of hosting the Games had little to do with the economy.

Moala says the Government's reasons do not add up.

"They're cancelling the games and yet they're going ahead with building the Popua park and golf course," he says.

The Tongan government has until the end of the month to resolve any issues around hosting the Pacific Games before a new host nation is sought. 

Tags: 'Akilisi Pohiva, 2019 Pacific Games, Andrew Minogue, Pacific Games Council, Kalafi Moala, Vidhya Lakhan,