Rome is set to confirm that it is pulling out of the race to host the Olympics in 2024.
Italy's Olympic Committee (CONI) is expected to formally announce that it is abandoning its bid after the city's new mayor, Virginia Raggi, said she would not give it her formal backing.
Raggi campaigned on an anti-Olympics platform, citing concerns about the rising cost of hosting the event. And, in an emphatic speech in front of bid supporters, opposition and media in Rome on Wednesday, Raggi was unequivocal about her position. "This is our position: it is irresponsible to say yes to this candidature," she said. "We are effectively asking the people of Rome and of Italy to shoulder the debts [accrued by hosting the Games]. We just don't support it. "Sport was an integral part of our electoral campaign, but we don't want it to be used as a pretext to a building spree around the city."
Rome's withdrawal will mean there are only three bidders left - Los Angeles, Paris and Budapest. Next September, 100 International Olympic Committee members will vote to determine who hosts the 2024 Games. Rome has hosted the Games once before, in 1960, but the Italian capital will not be hosting them in 2024. The 2020 Olympics will be staged in Tokyo, Japan and are scheduled to run from July 24 to August 9.