Last effort to save Games

Tuesday May 30, 2017 Written by Published in Regional

TONGA – The Pacific Games Council wants to meet Tonga’s prime minister and his cabinet early next week to discuss ways of reducing the costs of hosting the 2019 Games.

 

The Council’s Executive Board has resolved to make one last attempt to persuade the Tonga government to keep the event in Tonga.

It comes after the government sent a letter to the Games Council withdrawing their support for Tonga hosting the 2019 Games.

Pacific Games Council CEO Andrew Minogue said the Board still believed Tonga can host a successful event.

“Early next week we’re available to be in Tonga to meet with the prime minister and cabinet and to start a process where we would be able to give them some comfort on minimising or reducing the costs of delivering the Games,” he said.

“And we’ve got some expertise that we can bring in to help do that. So the offer is there – if the government feels the costs need to be brought down we can look at ways of doing that.

Minogue said other countries have expressed an interest in hosting in 2019, if the Pohiva government does not recommit its support by the deadline, but the Council’s focus remains on Tonga.

“They were awarded the Games and they’ve done a lot of work to start preparing for them,” he said.

“We’ve made it very clear that if we haven’t resolved the situation by the end of June, then we are moving on – but for this upcoming month we want the focus to remain very much on Tonga.”

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