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Italian Premier Letta backs 2024 Olympic bid
First Published Nov 13 2013 08:34 am • Last Updated Nov 13 2013 11:49 am

Rome • Italian Premier Enrico Letta reiterated his support Wednesday for a possible bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics and promoted a new law to help build football stadiums.

"The Olympics in Italy is an objective within reach and a game we have to play," Letta said. "We must have lofty ambitions."

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While Rome has not yet been officially selected, the capital — which hosted the 1960 Games — would be Italy’s likely candidate.

Rome was the first city to declare its candidacy for the 2020 Olympics but then-Premier Mario Monti refused to provide government financial backing and the bid was dropped.

Letta first voiced support for a 2024 bid earlier this year.

Other potential 2024 bids could come from Paris; Doha, Qatar; and cities in the United States and Africa.

Speaking at the Italian Olympic Committee, Letta also discussed a law that will allow Serie A soccer clubs to break their leases with city-owned stadiums and build new venues that they own and operate privately.

Approving the stadium law could be a major boost toward reversing the recent decline of Serie A, which has been marked by falling attendance, fan violence and racism.

"This is the appeal that I will make to parliament — that as of Jan. 1 there is a new law for modern venues," Letta said.

Letta was also meeting Wednesday with the committee working on a bid to bring the 2019 Alpine skiing world championships to Cortina d’Ampezzo. Cortina, which hosted the 1956 Winter Olympics, is competing against Are, Sweden.

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Letta responded positively when Italian rugby federation president Alfredo Gavazzi asked if he would support a bid for the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

"Of course," Letta said. "And I want to inaugurate the World Cup as Premier."


Follow Andrew Dampf at http://twitter.com/asdampf

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