Tonga's participation at Rio Olympics in doubt

Tonga’s participation in the Rio De Janeiro Olympic Games in August this year will depend on whether the Tonga Amateur Sports Association (TASA) can comply with demands by the International Olympic Committee IOC before 15 February.

 Fe’ao Vakata, the Minister for Internal Affairs and Sports informed the Tongan parliament of this decision this week.

The Minister said that one of the IOC requirements is for TASA to amend its constitution. The IOC was also still waiting for TASA to respond to offers of scholarship allocations for Tongan athletes.

TASA needs to meet the IOC demands within ten days.

The issue was raised in the House during the week because of the visit to Tonga by a Papua New Guinea Delegation to assess Tonga’s needs to be able to host the 2019 Pacific Games.

TASA came up in the House again Thursday after Lord Nuku queried TASA’s status, because ‘Akilisi Pohiva told the House the day before that TASA was bankrupt.

Prime Minister Akilisi Pohiva again told the House that TASA is bankrupt, and they can’t even pay their electricity and water bills.

Meanwhile, TASANOC is not bankrupt says ONOC President Dr Robin Mitchell and Secretary General Ricardo Blas.

They were responding to Tongan PM Hon Akilisi Pohiva's comments in Parliament that TASANOC (Tonga Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee) was bankrupt.

“No NOC can be bankrupt,” says ONOC SG Blas to Tonga Broadcasting & Television.

In another development, the Tonga Sports Journalists Association Interim Committee has been selected.

The members are Iliesa Tora- Nukualofa Times, Anton- TBC, Linny Folau- Matangi, Poli Leger- Talaki, Tapinga Lavemaau- TBC