The head of Tonga's amateur sports and Olympic committee says the loss of the 2019 Pacific Games will set back development of sport and increase the gap between it and neigbouring countries.
Lord Vaea hopes a royal petition will convince the government to change its mind despite its declaration this week that its decision to withdraw from hosting the games was final.
Lord Vaea said the ability of countries like Fiji and Samoa to host top sporting events was more advanced than Tonga's and the recent Super Rugby fixtures provided evidence of that.
"Samoa hosting the Reds and the Blues and Fiji hosting the Chiefs and the Crusaders and here is Tonga going further and further back. If we want to join into this sort of thing we need our infrastructure through sport and that's what the games will bring," he said.
"And it will bring a different standard of facilities and activities and professionalism to our overall sport."