Samoa has completed its claim to the hosting rights of the 2019 Pacific Games after signing an agreement with the Pacific Games Council early this week in Apia.
Samoa Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee president Patrick Fepuleai and Samoa Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi affixed their signatures on the GHA, while PGC was represented by its president Vidhya Lakhan. The GHA was signed last Sept. 11 at the Government Building Complex.
“It is an honor to be back in Apia to formalize the Games Host Agreement with the prime minister and SASNOC president. The PGC is very grateful that Samoa put itself forward to organize the 2019 Pacific Games at such short notice and that SASNOC has the full support of the prime minister and his government. The PGC will offer SASNOC all of the assistance and expertise to ensure they deliver another successful Pacific Games,” Lakhan said in a statement posted at the PGC website.
Samoa stepped up to host next year’s competition following Tonga’s withdrawal early this year due to funding problem. Guam and Tahiti joined Samoa on the list of countries that submitted expression of interest to take over the hosting rights of the quadrennial event. Tahiti’s proposal did not make the grade, while Guam’s proposal lacked the government support (due to time constrain) that PCG needed to consider the island-nation, leaving Samoa the best choice to host the 2019 edition of the multi-sports competition.
Samoa is likely to keep the schedule of the Pacific Games as earlier proposed by Tonga. The Games are slated to be held from July 8 to 20 and will feature 26 sports. The host must have 14 compulsory sports and these include athletics, boxing, basketball, golf, swimming, table tennis, tennis, va’a (outrigger canoe racing), volleyball (indoor and beach), judo, taekwondo, weightlifting, football and rugby sevens (for men only). Samoa will then be given a hand to pick the remaining events.
Besides the schedule and sports to be contested, Samoa is expected to still implement the $35 per diem.