Rome

Rome could bid again to host 2024 Olympics, says CONI

Malago says that unexpected events can still happen

Rome could bid again to host 2024 Olympics, says CONI

Rome, August 7 - Rome may yet be in the running to host the 2024 Olympic games, the head of the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) said Wednesday. Giovanni Malago suggested that anything is possible, including another shot for the Italian capital at hosting the Olympics. For example, no one predicted the recent silver medal win by swimmer Federica Pellegrini at the World Swimming Championships, said Malago. "I did not expect the silver from Federica...but when she said 'I'm going', I realized that anything might happen," Malago explained in an interview with Italy's leading sports newspaper, Gazzetta dello Sport. Pellegrini – who said she had not planned to defend her 200m world title won in 2009 and 2011 - ended a 12-month sabbatical to take second at the Barcelona championships. Similarly, with the right support, Italy could also surprise many by hosting the Olympics, suggested Malago. Italy's dreams of hosting the 2020 Olympics were dashed in February 2012 by then-premier Mario Monti who suggested that Italy, which all of its debts and serious economic problems, could not afford such an expensive venture. "I had to take a difficult decision (to reject) a magnificent project, and there was a lot of disappointment," Monti told the European Parliament at the time. "But I have the impression that public opinion has understood (why I did so)," he added. Monti did not give the bid his required endorsement, citing financial risks at a time when crisis-hit Italy was enduring tough austerity measures. However, Malago suggested things have since changed, and that Finance Minister Fabrizio Saccomanni has said hosting such an events could be possible. There would have to be "attention on the expenditure side," added Malago. He hinted that he also has support from Regional Affairs Minister Graziano Delrio who also has cabinet responsibilities for sport.

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