Tonga’s sports and recreation laws under review, consultation announced

    Tonga’s sports laws are up for reform and interested people can have their say on proposed changes to the new Act.

    Known as Sports and Recreation Bill 2021, it will override the Tonga Sport Council Act 1989.

    The Parliament yesterday Tuesday 20  said its Standing Committee is set to conduct meetings with members of the public in the House starting tomorrow Thursday 22 and Friday 23.

    “It is open to the public to join in and submit proposals,” it said.

    It said the laws were clarified to the public during radio talkback shows which gave people an opportunity to understand the impacts of the proposals and provide feedback.

    It also said it received 24 calls with feedbacks from the public during the shows.

    The proposed new laws list 22 sport associations which it said are the governing bodies for respective sport in the kingdom.

    One of them was the controversial Tonga National Rugby League Incorporated (Kautaha Liiki ‘Akapulu Fakafonua ‘a Tonga) (TNRL) which was listed as the country’s ruling body for Tonga’s rugby league sports.

    It is unclear at this stage, whether the structure and officials of the current Tonga National Rugby League Incorporated will continue under the new law when it will come into force in about a year from now – the normal time span it takes for a bill to be processed before it became law, or that the government will restructure it to suit the current situation in which there was a rival rugby league body, the Tonga Ma’a Tonga Rugby League (TMTRL).

    The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) dismissed Tonga National Rugby League’s (TNRL) appeal against its expulsion from the global governing body early this year.

    The TNRL was expelled from the International Rugby League (IRL) in March 2019, after a long-running battle over governance, money and a threatened player boycott.

    The CAS decision came after the Asia-Pacific Rugby League Confederation has already endorsed the bid by TMTRL, which has the support of the current Tongan players and coach.

    You can find the copy of the new Bill in this link:

    Lao_Fakaangaanga_Fika_9-2021

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