POSTED: September 24th 2016

Rome 2024 Bid Committee President Luca di Montezemolo criticizes Mayor Raggi's lack of support

Rome 2024 Bid Committee President, Luca di Montezemolo © Getty Images
Rome 2024 Bid Committee President, Luca di Montezemolo © Getty Images

MARISSA FLANDERS (USA) / Sports Features Communications

(SFC) Following the announcement by the Rome Mayor, Virginia Raggi in which she stated that the government would not back the city's Olympic bid, Rome 2024 Bid Committee President, Luca di Montezemolo expressed his feelings in an interview with Milanese daily Corriere della Sera.

He stated that he is still hoping saying, "I still hope Rome will win this great challenge. There's always hope."

Mayor Raggi stated that it would be financially "irresponsible" for the city to pursue the Games and would leave the Italian capital indebted.

President Montezemolo commented on this saying, "The budget is zero, the citizens of Rome aren't expected to spend a single euro for the infrastructure, renovations in the suburbs and other works, which the city needs anyway, especially in light of the next Jubilee in 2025."

He went on to say,  "I have the utmost respect for the institution, and the decision must be made by the winner of the elections. But I am unable to accept the attitude and the substance of this decision. I believe they are giving up on the future, on our young people, on nearly 200,000 jobs, on a sustainable city with less barriers for the elderly, the disabled and families. I understand being concerned about the citizens' priorities: but do we really think that Rome will still be in a state of emergency 8 years from now?."

When asked about a referendum, President Montezemolo explained, "It's too late to hold a referendum now. That decision should have been made before."

He expressed his frustrations, "If Rome gives up, it will be telling the world that the city doesn't want to improve and has no faith in its own future. If we back out, exactly one year from now, another city will be awarded the 1 billion 700-million-dollar grant for sport facilities, including many in the suburbs...The city council is turning down an extraordinary opportunity to prove that they can host an event that is completely transparent and complies with all laws. They would have had complete control of the situation. They would have set up the Organising Committee and inspected the tenders and the construction work with all the instruments at their disposal including the Anti-Corruption Authority under Cantone. Saying no just to avoid responsibility is unacceptable."

He concluded, "I doubt the decision can be changed once it has been made. Prime Minister Renzi was clear on that as well. But I still hope that the desire to make the most of the opportunity will triumph over party politics. For Rome. For all of Italy."

** MARISSA FLANDERS is a graduate of Saint Leo University with a Bachelor's Degree in Sport Business. She has over four years of writing experience and has a real passion for ice hockey following the Pittsburgh Penguins on her blog

Keywords · Rome · Rome 2024 · Olympics · Olympic bidding · Paralympics

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