Rome 2024 organizers anxiously awaiting word from new mayor
ROME (AP) Organizers of Rome's bid for the 2024 Olympics are anxiously awaiting word from the city's new mayor to see if she will move ahead with the candidacy or oppose it as hinted in her electoral campaign.
Virginia Raggi of the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement won a runoff Sunday to become Rome's first female mayor and, at age 37, also its youngest.
''Ask her what she intends to do,'' Italian Olympic Committee president Giovanni Malago told reporters Tuesday at an event in Turin for the Juventus soccer club. ''I would just like to invite her to be fair and to collaborate.''
Malago met with Raggi during the election campaign.
''To us it doesn't seem like there was an outright `No,' and we don't believe there should be, because it's a procedure that began three years ago,'' Malago said.
But Malago acknowledged that IOC rules for candidates require undivided support from the city, the Olympic committee and the government, and that if one of those elements pulls out, ''we would be too weak.''
Raggi promised to bring ''legality and transparency'' to Rome's City Hall, where prosecutors probing widespread corruption have found many municipal contracts were awarded without taking bids to political cronies and even a Mafia-like clique.
With regard to the Olympics, Raggi said during her campaign that she wants to focus on ''everyday items before extraordinary ones.''
However, previous Rome Mayor Ignazio Marino formally submitted Rome's 2024 bid to the International Olympic Committee last year after a city council vote showed overwhelming support.
The other bidders are Budapest, Hungary; Los Angeles; and Paris. The IOC will select the host city in September 2017.
If Raggi continues to oppose the bid, the candidacy could be decided in a referendum.
If the bid is rejected, it would mark Rome's second withdrawal in four years after then-premier Mario Monti in 2012 stopped Rome's plans to bid for the 2020 Games because of fiscal conditions.