Bach ‘very con­fi­dent’ over Italy 2026 Win­ter Games bid

The Korea Times - - SPORTS - ROME (AFP)

— Olympic chief Thomas Bach said Thurs­day he was “very con­fi­dent” that Italy would present a joint bid by Mi­lan and Cortina d’Am­pezzo to host the 2026 Win­ter Olympics de­spite the coun­try’s gov­ern­ment rul­ing out fund­ing.

The Ital­ian gov­ern­ment has agreed to back the bid by Mi­lan-Cortina but with­out giv­ing fi­nan­cial aide, with the bud­get to be cov­ered by the north­ern re­gions of Lom­bardy and Veneto which are among Italy’s rich­est.

Bach was speak­ing af­ter a two-day visit dur­ing which he met with Ital­ian pres­i­dent Ser­gio Mattarella along with na­tional Olympic chief Gio­vanni Malago and cab­i­net un­der­sec­re­tary Giancarlo Gior­getti, who is in charge of sport.

“Af­ter the talks with CONI and with the un­der­sec­re­tary Gior­getti, I’m very con­fi­dent there will be a so­lu­tion found which will be in the in­ter­ests of Italy and the in­ter­ests of sport,” the In­ter­na­tional Olympic Com­mit­tee head said.

“We are leav­ing Rome and Italy with much more con­fi­dence about this can­di­da­ture. We re­ally see things com­ing along.

“Guar­an­tees have been ex­pressed by Lom­bardy and Veneto and I’m con­fi­dent that we’ll have them, which are very im­por­tant to se­cure the en­tire project”

Bach said he had also been as­sured by Gior­getti that the Ital­ian gov­ern­ment was “ready to de­liver the guar­an­tees about free en­try and se­cu­rity”.

Cal­gary and Stock­holm are the other two ci­ties bid­ding for the 2026 Games.

The Cana­dian project will be put to a ref­er­en­dum next week while Swe­den are still await­ing a new gov­ern­ment two months af­ter elec­tions.

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