Rome does not plan referendum for 2024 Olympics bid

By Karolos Grohmann KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - There will be no referendum to decide whether Rome's 2024 summer Olympics bid should go ahead despite the city's withdrawal of a previous bid in 2012 over financial concerns, Italian bid officials said on Sunday. Rome campaigned briefly for the 2020 summer Olympics but the government pulled the plug on the bid saying the country's difficult economic situation at the time would prevent it from offering the necessary financial guarantees. The Italian capital has since launched another bid to land the 2024 Olympics but is not planning to hold a public vote over it, the chairman of the country's Olympic Committee said. "No, no referendum," CONI President Giovanni Malago said when asked by Reuters if he would follow the lead of some other bidders. "This does not mean that we do not want to involve public opinion," he said, though did not elaborate. Rome is bidding along with Paris, Budapest and Germany's Hamburg for the Games with Boston's short-lived candidacy scrapped by the United States Olympic Committee this week over a lack of support from the city. Hamburg has pledged to hold a referendum on Nov. 24 while Boston also wanted a state-wide vote over their bid. Other cities are also considering the move after four of six bidders for the 2022 winter Olympics pulled out in mid-race due to public opposition or financial concerns. One of those four -- Poland's Krakow -- dropped out after a referendum showed the majority of city residents were against it. Bids from St Moritz and Munich for the 2022 winter Games also failed to materialize following defeats in local referendums. The size and cost of the Games has been ballooning in recent decades putting a strain on host countries' finances. (Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; Editing by Greg Stutchbury)