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Tonga’s decision to withdraw from hosting the 2019 Pacific Games is an opportunity for Samoa.
That’s the opinion of the President of the Samoa Association of Sport and National Olympic Committee (SASNOC), Fepulea’i Patrick Fepulea’i.
“I think from SASNOC’s perspective, we’re happy to host and we have the ability to do so,” he told the Samoa Observer
“Even though it’s short notice, we can step in but depending on what government says.”
Speaking to the Samoa Observer, Fepulea’i said hosting the Games will provide a great opportunity to utilise the facilities Samoa has.
But he is mindful that Samoa is not the only country capable of hosting.
“We could step in,” he said, “We have all the facilities to be able to host.”
“I’m pretty sure other countries like Fiji will be interested also. They also have the facilities to host.”
The news of Tonga pulling out is fairly recent, so SASNOC will consult government to finalise the decision to put in a bid to host.
“Well there’s a lot of consultation to take place first before that decision can be made. It involves government, I need to talk with government to find out what their position is as well,” he said.
“At this stage, I think the news has just came out.”
“I need to see what government’s position is on this is as well. Also, we need to contact the Pacific Games Council to advise them that we’re interested in stepping in. There’ll be a process that we need to follow for that.”
“The facilities don’t belong to SASNOC they belong to the government."
“SASNOC will be happy to host these games with government.”
Wednesday, Tonga’s withdrawal became official.
Tonga's Prime Minister, Akilisi Pohiva, conceded that the move is not a good look for the country but it is necessary.
Pohiva said he intended to write a letter to the Pacific Games Council informing them of the decision.
SOURCE: SAMOA OBSERVER/PACNEWS
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