Samoa has been named as host of the Pacific Games ©Getty Images

Samoa have been awarded the 2019 Pacific Games as a replacement for Tonga, it was announced today.

The Pacific Games Council (PCG) Executive Board  has unanimously approved the decision to choose them ahead of its only rival Guam.

Tonga was to host the Games but the Government announced in May it was pulling out, claiming it could not afford to host them.

Three countries put themselves forward as candidates to step in but Tahiti were ruled out because of a lack of Government guarantees. 

Then the PGC Council revealed a budget agreement between Guam's Governor and legislature could not be met in time.

Samoa promised it would fully underwrite the cost of hosting the Games and that it already has the facilities needed.

Samoa hosted the Commonwealth Youth Games in 2015 ©Getty Images
Samoa hosted the Commonwealth Youth Games in 2015 ©Getty Images

"Samoa is an experienced and capable recent host of major events like the 2007 South Pacific Games and 2015 Commonwealth Youth Games," PGC President Vidhya Lakhan said.

"The Executive Board has every confidence that Samoa will stage another very successful Pacific Games in 2019. 

"The sporting facilities are all in place and the full and financial support of the Samoan Prime Minister and Government gave the Samoan PGA’s (Pacific Games Association) bid the winning edge. 

"We all look forward to returning to Apia in 2019. 

"In the meantime, PGC expects to sign the Games Host Agreement with the Samoan PGA and Government in the next ten days."

The Government of Guam, a United States island territory in Micronesia, needed to commit between $5 million to $8.5 million to host the Games.

Legislative Speaker Benjamin Cruz did not support Government funding for the Games because he claimed they could spend the money in other areas.