Tonga to learn from Pacific Games travel failures

Tonga's government says the structure of Tonga's sports federations needs to change before Tonga prepares to host the Pacific Games in 2019.

Last week the government had to front up the travel bill for 59 remaining athletes whose federations failed to pay their air fares to Papua New Guinea to compete in this year's Pacific Games.

The Minister of Youth, Employment and Sports, Fe'ao Vakata, says the Tonga Amateur Sports Association and other federations were disorganised and it's the last time the government will front up travel money due to their lack of preparation.

Vakata says the Ministry will work on setting up a separate institute of sports for Tonga alongside criteria for selected federation members.

"They all come running to Uncle Government thinking they are 'something'. But we want to host this very important occassion. They need us. They need government to jump in and help out with the federations."