9 Feb 2016

Sport: TASANOC has one week to amend constitution

7:44 am on 9 February 2016

Tonga's Amateur Sports Association and National Olympic Committee has until next week to amend its constitution or face not going to the Rio Games.

Representatives from the Oceania National Olympic Committee visited Nuku'alofa twice in recent weeks to assess the situation and attended an extraordinary general meeting in Nuku'alofa last week, where the matter was addressed.

The Tonga prime minister, Akilisi Pohiva, accused the sports body in parliament last week of being broke and unable to pay its bills.

ONOC President Robin Mitchell said funding from the IOC has been suspended since the middle of last year however regional funding was recently resumed.

"After our first visit we started sending through some money from our Guam office - continental funds that are managed by the ONOC office. Funding from IOC hasn't been resumed until the draft constitution gets through IOC some time this week."

Mr Mitchell said if Tonga does not meet the 15 February deadline the Kingdom would not be able to go to the Rio Olympics and athletes would have to compete under the Olympic flag.

He said ONOC was in almost daily contact with Switzerland.