1 Aug 2017

Sport: Guam bids to host 2019 Pacific Games

8:56 am on 1 August 2017

Guam has joined Samoa in expressing interest to host the 2019 Pacific Games after Tonga pulled out of staging the event.

Pacific games ceremony in PNG

The 2015 Pacific Games in Papua New Guinea Photo: RNZ Vinnie Wylie

Guam last hosted the Games in 1999 in Santa Rita and previously in 1975 at Tumon

The Pacific Games Council said French Polynesia would also bid to hold the games after Tahiti missed out on winning hosting rights to Tonga.

The council's chief executive Andrew Minogue said games officials would visit all three countries bidding for hosting rights this month before naming a winner at the end of August.

Mr Minogue said after Tonga abruptly quit as hosts in May, it was heartening that other countries had come forward.

"I think it's a really big relief for the athletes of the Pacific to know that they're going to have an event in 2019," said Mr Minogue.

"It's very important because for a lot of sports it's going to be a lead-in event for the Tokyo Olympics and qualification for the Olympic games and World Championships in some sports," he said.

"So it is a relief to the athletes and I think its really comforting to know that there are countries out there, even at short notice, that are prepared to dig deep and do what it takes to host the games."

Mr Minogue said the Pacific Games Council had contracted a solicitor in Tonga to launch legal action against the government for pulling out as hosts.

He said Tonga had budgeted $US20 million to host the games over the next two years and the new host nation would need to do the same.

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