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Rome withdraws Olympic 24 bid

dpadpa 29/09/2016 Alvise Armellini

Rome's 2024 Olympic bid is officially over after the city council voted against supporting a bid by the Italian capital.

Rome has officially withdrawn its candidature to host the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games after the city council voted to follow Mayor Virginia Raggi in opposing the bid.

The assembly, controlled by the anti-establishment Five Star Movement (M5S), approved an anti-Olympics motion in a 30-12 vote, with no abstentions.

It called on Raggi and her aides to "take the necessary actions and initiatives" to enact the decision.

The city council had originally backed the bid in 2015, but under a different administration led by the Democratic Party of Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, which was badly defeated by Raggi's M5S in June.

Raggi said on September 21 that her administration was against hosting the Games because it was too much of a financial burden for the debt-ridden city. "Olympic Games are a dream which at a certain point turn into a nightmare," she said.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC), which will elect the 2024 host city in September 2017, requires bids to be supported by the national Olympic committee, the central government and local authorities.

With Rome out of the race, the remaining candidates for 2024 are Los Angeles, Paris and Budapest.

Germany's Hamburg also filed a bid, but it was blocked in a referendum last year. In September, Los Angeles stepped in for Boston which lacked political and financial support.

Renzi and the Italian Olympics Committee (CONI) have both criticised the decision to pull out.

CONI President Giovanni Malago said last week Italy was now unlikely to submit another Olympic candidacy for "the next 20 years."

Late Wednesday, a bid for the 2023 Rugby World Cup was withdrawn. Italian Rugby Federation President Alfredo Gavazzi said it was because it was "strictly connected" to plans to host the Olympics in Rome the following year.

The Games were last held in the Italian capital in 1960.

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