Tonga’s Participation In Rio Olympics In Doubt

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Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i

Tonga’s Participation In Rio Olympics In Doubt Amateur Sports Association must quickly comply with IOC demands

By Pesi Fonua

NUKU‘ALOFA, Tonga (Matangi Tonga, Feb. 4, 2016) – Tonga’s participation in the Rio De Janeiro Olympic Games in August this year will depend on whether the Tonga Amateur Sports Association (TASA) can comply with demands by the International Olympic Committee IOC before 15 February, Hon. Fe’ao Vakata, the Minister for Internal Affairs and Sports told the Tongan parliament this morning.

The Minister said that one of the IOC requirements is for TASA to amend its constitution. The IOC was also still waiting for TASA to respond to offers of scholarship allocations for Tongan athletes.

TASA needs to meet the IOC demands within ten days.

The issue was raised in the House during the week because of the visit to Tonga by a Papua New Guinea Delegation to assess Tonga’s needs to be able to host the 2019 Pacific Games.

TASA came up in the House again today after Lord Nuku queried TASA’s status, because Hon. ‘Akilisi Pohiva told the House the day before that TASA was bankrupt.

This morning, PM Pohiva, again told the House that TASA is bankrupt, and they can’t even pay their electricity and water bills.

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