8 August, 2017. Lord Tu'ilakepa has called for an increase in government financial assistance to overseas-based rugby players.
Radio Tonga reported Lord Tu'ilakepa told parliament, assistance should be boosted to enhance the ability of players to represent Tonga at the 2019 World Cup.
He said it was about time the government raised its contribution as Tonga will compete with mainly tier one teams at the tournament.
The Prime Minister 'Akilisi Pohiva said there was money but the government was not responsible for all sports bodies.
He said recent requests from the AFL and Taekwondo Federations had been refused.
Mr Pohiva said there were several standards to meet before qualifying for any financial assistance.
The Opposition then called on Mr Pohiva to clarify the statements he made when cancelling the hosting of the 2019 Pacific Games.
The Prime Minister had said money saved by cancelling would be used to support the development of sports.