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Rome close to withdraw Olympic 2024 bid

The Major of Rome Mrs. Virginia Raggi  yesterday announced she rejects bid for the Olympic Game in 2024.

Virginia Raggi Major of Rome (photo courtesy: Roma Capitale).

Virginia Raggi Major of Rome (photo courtesy: Roma Capitale).

The Italian Capital is close to follow the path of  other previous candidates that retired their candidatures as  Hamburg and Boston.

If approved by Rome’s city assembly, Raggi’s motion to withdraw the bid would leave only Los Angeles, Paris and Budapest in the running for the 2024 Games. The International Olympic Committee will decide on the host city in September 2017.

“This city is unlivable,” Raggi said in a news conference at city hall atop ancient Capitoline Hill. “We need to focus on that.

“We have a much more ambitious project for Rome than the one for the 2024 Games,” Virginia Raggi added. “We want to upgrade the services, give back to citizens a city that is as worthy as any other European capital.”

“In light of the data we have, these Olympics are not sustainable. They will bring only debt,” she said. “We don’t want sports to become another pretext for more cement foundations in the city. We won’t allow it.”

 

Raggi’s rejection comes after then-Premier Mario Monti stopped Rome’s plans to bid for the 2020 Olympics because of financial concerns.

The Italian Olympic Committee was very disappointed “We’ve lost all credibility, if we pull out,”  president Giovanni Malago said, ruling out an eventual bid for the 2028 Games, even from another Italian city. “Because they’ll think people in Italy are not serious.”

The Rome bid was approved by the city assembly last year with 38 votes in favor and only six against – meaning Raggi will have to put the issue up for another vote to officially end the candidacy.

The IOC requires bidders to have support from the government and city.

The budget had been projected at 5.3 billion euros ($6 billion) – 2.1 billion euros for the construction of permanent venues and the balance for temporary venues.