Tonga have been given until June 30 to address financial concerns over staging the 2019 Pacific Games, or they risk officially losing the hosting rights for the event.
The deadline was revealed following a meeting of the Pacific Games Council (PGC) Executive Board, who "resolved to make one last attempt to keep the 2019 Pacific Games in Tonga".
In what marks the latest confusing development in the ongoing saga regarding Tonga's hosting of the 2019 Games, the PGC claimed they favour "keeping the door open to the Tongan Government for a final short period".
The PGC are hopeful the Government, who notified the organisation of their decision to officially pull the plug on the event earlier this month, will resume their support for the country staging the Games.
The governing body have seemingly thrown the country a lifeline but they claim, however, that they have a "contingency plan" in place" in the event that matters with the Tongan Government are not fully resolved by June 30.
Fiji have confirmed they would be interested in stepping in to stage the Games in two years time but Papua New Guinea, hosts in 2015, have ruled themselves out of the running.
"The Executive Board remains confident that Tonga can successfully deliver the event should the Government resume its support," the PGC said in a statement.
"In the Pacific way, the Executive Board favours keeping the door open to the Tongan Government for a final short period to address its financial concerns with the PGC in a spirit of cooperation.
"The PGC has previously written to the Prime Minister with this offer but will now ask the Tonga Association of Sport and National Olympic Committee (TASANOC) to facilitate an appointment for PGC representatives to meet with him and the Cabinet in early June to begin a process of fully reviewing the Games’ cost structures.
"In the meantime, the Executive Board will advise its members that it has put contingency plans in place for the process of selecting an alternative host nation quickly in the event that matters with the Tongan Government are not fully resolved by 30 June."
The meeting, attended by Lord Vaea, acting President of TASANOC and Tonga 2019 chairman Lord Sevele, followed a claim from the country's former Minister of Finance that Government funds had already been allocated for the Games in the upcoming 2017-2018 budget before they decided to withdraw.
'Aisake Eke, sacked as Minister of Finance in March after he abstained in a vote of no-confidence in Prime Minister 'Akilisi Pōhiva, told a meeting of the TASANOC the funds were all specifically aimed to support preparations for the 2019 event.
Tonga seemingly withdrew from staging the Games amid concerns the country could face economic difficulties if they went ahead.
Lord Sevele presented figures at the TASANOC meeting which he said contradicted the claim that withdrawal was due to financial issues.
Lord ʻAlipate Tuʻivanuavou Vaea, who chaired the meeting, attended by more than 40 delegates from 17 National Federations, said Tonga should honour its commitment to the Games.
A spokesman for the Tongan Cabinet told Kaniva News earlier this month that Pōhiva had decided to save the country from what has been described as a "costly mistake".
He added that Pōhiva was informed earlier this month of a World Bank report, which warned the Polynesian kingdom could find itself in financial trouble in the scenario that it went ahead and hosted the Games in 2019.
Pōhiva cast doubt on Tonga's ability to host the event last year when he warned a number of construction projects for the event were unlikely to meet their deadlines.
In March, TASANOC secretary general Takitoa Taumoepeau admitted preparations for the Games were "running late" but stressed the event would go ahead as planned.