Italy's Olympic Committee withdraws bid after veto from Rome mayor.
The Italian national Olympic committee (CONI) has officially withdrawn its bid to host the 2024 Olympics in Rome after the city council voted to oppose the candidacy on 29 September.
CONI president Giovanni Malagò wrote to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to “interrupt the candidacy” on 11 October, which he described as "the saddest day" of his presidency.
Rome's mayor Virginia Raggi, of the anti-establishment Movimento Cinque Stelle (M5S), had already notified the IOC, but Malagò said her letter didn't count and that only he had the authority to drop the bid officially.
Raggi had ruled out the candidacy on grounds of cost unsustainability, claiming the resources would be better spent on improving city services. However Malagò said that Italy had lost out on major investment and that her decision made the country “look like fools”.
Rome's dropping of the 2024 Olympic candidacy follows abandoned bids by Boston and Hamburg, leaving only Los Angeles, Paris and Budapest in the running. The IOC will announce the host city in September 2017.
The Italian capital’s Olympic bid was submitted in September 2015 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.
In 2012 Italy’s then prime minister Mario Monti made the “painful” decision to drop the 2020 Olympic bid because of financial concerns.