Olympics: Milan tipped for 2024 bid ahead of 'bankrupt' Rome

MILAN (AFP) - Italian Olympic officials on Thursday ruled Rome out as a candidate to bid for the 2024 Olympic Games because the city is "on the brink of bankruptcy".

Italy is in the grip of a serious finanancial crisis and Rome mayor Ignazio Marino said earlier this week the state of the capital's finances would make such a bid virtually impossible.

Ahead of a meeting in Milan, where officials from the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) were set to discuss a possible bid for 2024, the president of the Lombardy region Roberto Maroni echoed those thoughts.

"Rome is on the brink of bankruptcy," Maroni said on his arrival at the CONI meeting on Thursday morning, according to domestic news agency ANSA.

"A city in these financial straits can not be considered a candidate." Maroni said Milan, Lombardy's principal and most prosperous city, "remains the only possible candidate".

Recent reports speculated that Rome and Milan could launch a joint bid, however CONI president Giovanni Malago said regulations ruled out such a venture.

"Given the rules governing candidacies for the Olympic Games, it's not really possible," said Malago.

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