Vila Times

Tonga to face lawsuit for pulling out of hosting 2019 Pacific Games

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Legal action against Tonga for withdrawing from hosting the 2019 Pacific Games has been given full support by members of the Pacific Games Council (PGC) General Assembly at a meeting held on in Port Vila, Vanuatu.

The PGC has instructed its legal counsel in Tonga, William Edwards Jnr, to take intial steps to seek damages, which may amount to millions.

Tonga pulled out as hosts in June this year citing financial reasons, claiming the Games was not a priority for the country.

PGC warned in June that under the hosting contract, Tonga would underwrite the cost of the 2019 Games even if it is held in another country.

The suspension of Tahiti’s Pacific Games Association PGC membership from the Games because of its interfering government is raising concerns with the Tonga Association of Sport and National Olympic Committee (TASANOC) that Tonga may end up in the same boat.

TASANOC said that as a PGA member it is “very concerned that these developments could result in our membership being suspended or even expelled from the Pacific Games Council”.

It said this action would deprive Tongan athletes from competing at future Pacific Games and other related multi-sports events or games.