Raggi says “irresponsible” for city to bid for 2024 Olympics.
Rome mayor Virginia Raggi has said the city will withdraw its bid to host the 2024 Olympics, confirming her long-held opposition to the candidacy.
The mayor, a member of the anti-establishment Movimento 5 Stelle (M5S), announced her decision on 21 September after failing to attend an earlier scheduled appointment with Giovanni Malagò, the head of Italian Olympic Committee CONI.
His delegation was kept waiting 35 minutes before walking out without meeting the mayor.
Raggi motivated her decision on cost grounds, saying it would be “irresponsible” for Rome to bid for the 2024 Olympics and that the funds would be better spent on city services.
She claimed that Romans were still paying the debts from Rome's 1960 Olympics – a claim that Malagò subsequently denied.
Rome’s Olympic bid was submitted last September by former mayor Ignazio Marino and bid leader Luca Cordero di Montezemolo, with the strong approval of Italian premier Matteo Renzi and the local business community.
Raggi's decision to oppose Rome's bid to host the 2024 Olympics leaves only Los Angeles, Paris and Budapest in the running.
The International Olympic Committe (IOC), which requires bidders to have the support of both the government and the city, will announce the host city in September 2017.