17 Aug 2011

Sport: Cook Islands in danger of missing Pacific Games

11:16 am on 17 August 2011

Cook Islanders' participation in the Pacific Games is in jeopardy less than two weeks out from the beginning of the event in New Caledonia.

Cook Island News reports that the National Olympic Committee is facing a financial crisis and has told the national sport federations, which have collectively raised 177,000 US dollars to attend the games, that it needs a government loan of more than 160,000 dollars to pay for Team Cook Islands to go to Noumea.

It is meeting urgently this week in Rarotonga, while cabinet members simultaneously decide whether to approve the loan.

The Prime Minister, Henry Puna, went into an urgent meeting with CISNOC officials upon his arrival in the Cook Islands on Monday local time.

Some federation representatives have concerns about making hasty decisions when it is not clear how CISNOC will be able to repay a government loan.

CISNOC has refused to comment on what it described as a 'sensitive' matter.