The Director of the 2019 Pacific Games Committee, Aveau Niko Palamo, has resigned.
The resignation comes nine months before the opening ceremony of the Games scheduled for 7 July 2019.
Aveau’s resignation was confirmed by the Chairman of the Pacific Games Committee and Minister of Education, Sports and Culture, Loau Keneti Sio.
“There is nothing the Committee can do when the two men cannot work together,” Loau said.
The Minister did not identify the “men” he was referring to.
Contacted for a comment, Aveau told the Samoa Observer he was unable to work with the Committee.
“I walked out a month ago as I cannot work with those guys,” he said.
Aveau declined to comment further except to say that now he has more time for his family and his other business.
Despite the timing of the resignation, Minister Loau said there is no need to panic.
“This is of no concern to the Pacific Games Committee,” he said. “We are looking to appoint another Director as soon as possible.
“The exit of Aveau will not have any impact on the preparations; we are still proceeding with our plans in place.
“It is sad the turn of events; however the fact remains, we have the Pacific Games to prepare for and that is the main focus of the Committee as it stands.”
It was not possible to get a comment from the Chief Executive Officer of the Pacific Games Office, Falefata Hele Matatia, yesterday.
But a Board member of the Samoa Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said Aveau’s exit is worrying.
“Aveau is the only one in the Committee with vast knowledge and experience in terms of organizing huge sport events,” he said.
“Aveau’s qualifications to assist Falefata are unquestionable and Aveau’s abilities and his experience will go a long way to assist with the upcoming Pacific Games next year.”
Aveau was appointed Director in May 2018 and was tasked to work alongside C.E.O. Falefata to prepare for the Games.
The Pacific Games 2019 is expected to bring to Samoa thousands of athletes, officials and visitors for two weeks of sporting action.
One stand out feature on the schedule is the staging of boxing in Savai’i during the second week.