ROME, (Reuters) - Rome's bid to host the 2024 Olympic Games was unanimously endorsed by the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) on Thursday in what bid president Luca di Montezemolo described as an important signal of support.
CONI'S 64 members all voted to back the candidacy at a meeting held in Milan. Rome's rivals to stage the games include Boston, Hamburg and Paris.
"This was not only a formal step, but also an important signal of support from across the world of Italian sport for an event that is, at heart, a celebration of sport and its athletes," Di Montezemolo said in a statement issued by the Rome bid.
"It was very pleasing to receive the full backing and encouragement of the federation presidents at Coni today."
"The fact that this message of support was delivered in Milan is also of great significance, because the Rome Games will not simply be an Olympics of the Capital, but the Olympics of all Italy," he added.
"Venues will not be restricted to the city limits, but spread across the nation.
"We want these Games to be an opportunity for growth and investment for the whole country – a sporting festival that will represent a triumph of beauty, culture, technology and sustainability."
Former Ferrari president Di Montezemolo, who also led the organising committee when Italy hosted the 1990 World Cup, was appointed in February to lead the bid.
(Writing by Brian Homewood in Berne, editing by Ed Osmond)