Italy halts Rome bid for 2024 Olympics

Malta Independent - - SPORT -

Italy sus­pended Rome's bid for the 2024 Olympics yes­ter­day, forced to pull the plug be­cause of the staunch op­po­si­tion of the city's mayor.

Ital­ian Olympic Com­mit­tee pres­i­dent Gio­vanni Malago said that had writ­ten to the IOC an­nounc­ing the de­ci­sion to "in­ter­rupt the can­di­dacy."

While the let­ter left open a small pos­si­bil­ity for a re­vival of the bid if there is a change in city gov­ern­ment, Malago didn't hold out much hope.

"To­day the game is over. But if some­one de­cides that the game isn't over it's not up to us. But to­day we're end­ing the game," Malago told The As­so­ci­ated Press after his an­nounce­ment at a news con­fer­ence. "That's it."

The move comes after Rome's city coun­cil voted last month to with­draw sup­port of the bid on the rec­om­men­da­tion of Mayor Vir­ginia Raggi.

"The bid com­mit­tee is of­fi­cially liq­ui­dated as of to­day," Malago said. "It's a big wound for us. I hope they re­al­ize how bad an im­pres­sion we've made."

The In­ter­na­tional Olympic Com­mit­tee said it had "taken note" of the Ital­ian de­ci­sion and "will fur­ther ex­plore with the can­di­da­ture com­mit­tee what this means."

"All the cir­cum­stances and the in­for­ma­tion that we have re­ceived in the past days clearly demon­strate that this is about Ital­ian pol­i­tics only," the IOC said.

Rome's with­drawal leaves only Los An­ge­les, Paris, and Bu­dapest, Hun­gary, in the run­ning for the 2024 Games. The IOC will se­lect the host city in Septem­ber 2017.

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