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City council forces Italy to withdraw bid to host 2024 Olympic Games

Italy's withdrawal means only Paris, Los Angeles and Budapest are left in the running to stage the 2024 summer games. Photograph: (Getty)

WION Rome, Italy Oct 11, 2016, 12.28 PM (IST)

The Italian Olympic Committee on Tuesday put a definitive end to Rome's bid to host the 2024 Olympic Games, officially withdrawing its candidature, after the city council voted to oppose the project.  

Committee President Giovanni Malago told a specially convened press conference, "today I wrote a letter to the International Olympic Committee in which we have broken off our candidature for the Olympic Games in 2024."

City's newly elected mayor Virginia Raggi, backed by nearly two-thirds of councillors, argued that staging the sporting extravaganza would "bury the already cash-strapped Italian capital under piles of debt". 

Raggi's anti-establishment movement had repeatedly flagged its opposition to hosting the Games, saying the chaotic city had more pressing problems like the creaking transport system and other public services. 

Malago's announcement made its clear there was no way forward and he said a fresh attempt to get the Games was unlikely for at least 20 years. Malago said the decision to withdraw the bid was a 'very grave renunciation and a great disappointment."

"I always said this bid was a table supported by three legs and one of those legs gave way for for ideological and demagogic reasons," he said.

Rome's withdrawal leaves Budapest, Los Angeles and Paris battling for the right to host the 2024 summer games.

(WION with inputs from agencies)

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