5 Jul 2017

Sport: Samoa 'very interested' in hosting 2019 Pacific Games

11:45 am on 5 July 2017

The Samoa Government has thrown its support behind a bid to host the 2019 Pacific Games.

The Pacific Games Council confirmed this week it would formally terminate the host agreement with Tonga, after the deadline passed for the government to recommit its support.

Samoa's Prime Minister, Tuila'epa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi, said at the end of May his country was keen and always stood ready to host international sporting events.

Prime Minister Tuila'epa Sailele Malielegaoi, Minister of Sports and Culture, Loau Keneti Sio, and Samoa's first Olympic medalist, Ele Opeloge.

Prime Minister Tuila'epa Sailele Malielegaoi, Minister of Sports and Culture, Loau Keneti Sio, and Samoa's first Olympic medalist, Ele Opeloge. Photo: Tipi Autagavaia

The Sports Minister, Loau Keneti Sio, said that desire remained.

"Absolutely. We have mentioned it before that we had a cabinet meeting and our Prime Minister was raising the issue," he said.

"So we had to wait for the Tongan declaration whether they can go ahead and host it but it seems that they have come up with a decision after last Friday with the 30 June (deadline) that they can't cope with it.

"So yes of course we're really interested in hosting it and that is if the Pacific (Games) Council just gives us a chance."

Loau Keneti Sio said he discussed the matter with the President of the Samoa Olympic Committee, SASNOC, over the weekend and the two parties will work together to before submitting Samoa's "Expression of Interest" to the Pacific Games Council by the 31 July deadline.

"I have already talked to Patrick Fepulea'i - he is the President of our National Sports (and Olympic Committee) - and he said that he has already talked to his fellow partners and he has already indicated to them that we are interested.

"And yes of course we've got facilities as we just finished (hosting) the Commonwealth Youth Games here recently so our facilities are there so I don't see any reason why we can't just host it."

Samoa last hosted the Pacific Games in 2007, while Fiji and Papua New Guinea have already ruled themselves out of contention to host in 2019.

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