By Nick Butler

Ex-Ferrari head Luca Cordero di Montezemolo has been appointed head of Rome's Olympic and Paralympic bid ©Getty ImagesLuca Cordero Di Montezemolo, the former chairman of Ferrari who also headed the organisation for the 1990 FIFA World Cup in Italy, will lead Rome's bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics and Paralympics, it was announced today.

The 67-year-old, who stepped down from the Italian car manufacturer in October after 23 years at the helm, has been confirmed as as President of the bid by Italian National Olympic Committee President Giovanni Malagò.

Malagò also revealed that Italian Football Federation Commissioner and Italian Paralympic Committee President Luca Pancalli, a former swimmer who won eight Paralympic gold medals, will serve as vice-president.

Di Montezemolo, born into Piedmontese aristocrat family, was widely considered the favourite to take up the post but other names, including former Foreign Minister Franco Frattini, had also been mentioned.

"We are full of enthusiasm, full of positivity," Malagò said today.

"We are convinced that the challenge is very complicated but it is a challenge that we will be able to win."

He added that Di Montezemolo, who was also appointed chairman of airline Alitalia in November, has the popularity and experience to deem him the perfect man for the job.

Luca Cordero Di Montezemolo (left), pictured alongside Michael Schumacher (centre), presided over a period of great success for Ferrari ©Getty ImagesLuca Cordero Di Montezemolo (left), pictured alongside Michael Schumacher (centre), presided over a period of great success for Ferrari ©Getty Images

This comes two months after Rome's bid was launched by Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, with a vow to be low cost and sustainable, with the challenge for Di Montezemolo being too convince the population that the bid remains viable in a time of economic unease. 

Boston is the only other city to have declared its hand and confirmed its bid so far, although a number of other cities are currently considering whether to press ahead.

A decision by the German Olympic and Sports Confederation on whether to nominate either Berlin or Hamburg is due to be made on March 21, while a feasibility study is due to be published in Paris on Thursday (February 12) 

Baku, Doha, Budapest, Istanbul and either Pretoria or Gauteng Province in South Africa are among other potential contenders.

The deadline for confirming bids is September 15 but a special invitation phase for the 2024 Olympic bid process was launched on January 15, with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) keen to provide more consultation with cities in order to generate more popular support.

The host is then due to be selected during the IOC Session in Lima in 2017.

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