Fiji is set to bid for the 2031 Pacific Games after withdrawing its bid for the 2027 edition of the event due to COVID-19.
The country had been one of six to register an interest in staging the 2027 Pacific Games, along with Tahiti, Vanuatu, Tonga, American Samoa and Guam.
Fiji Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee (FASANOC) chief executive Lorraine Mar said the coronavirus pandemic was behind its decision to pull out of the running earlier this year.
“We had people putting their hands up whom were unemployed, putting their hands out for assistance and we just decided that this was not the right time that we didn’t know how long COVID-19 would go on for, how long Government funding would be committed to the priority of getting the country back on its feet,” Mar said during the FASANOC General Assembly, according to FBC News.
Mar added that Fiji would instead set its sights on a bid for the Games in 2031.
Fiji will be seeking to host the Games for a record fourth time.
The inaugural Pacific Games were held in Suva in Fiji in 1963, before they returned to the capital city in 1979.
Fiji’s most recent hosting of the event came in 2003, when Suva also welcomed athletes from across the region.
The 2023 Pacific Games are due to be staged in Solomon Islands.