Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has claimed the country would bid for the 2028 Summer Olympics with another city should Rome’s Mayor Virginia Raggi bring an end to the Italian capital's ambitions to host in 2024.
Raggi confirmed earlier this week that she will make plans to discuss the bid with Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) President Giovanni Malagò before the end of next week, or after the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games that are set to conclude on September 18.
It had been reported that Raggi, a representative of the populist Five Star Movement that is against the bid, was set to announce the end of the Rome bid when the country’s Paralympic athletes attended a send-off ceremony ahead of Rio 2016 earlier this week.
This didn't materialise, with a decision on the continuation of the bid instead deferred until a later date.
During her election campaign earlier this year, Raggi stressed that Rome should focus on meeting their own financial needs first before hosting the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Renzi, who has been a vocal backer of Rome’s bid for the Games, has claimed that Italy will fight again in the event the capital’s efforts are ended.
"The decision is up to the city and we'll accept that, it's either yes or no,” he told RTL radio, according to the Associated Press.
"I think it would be a mistake, a very sad move.
“If the city decides no, it means that for 2028 we'll bid with another city."
A survey by pollster Censis on Tuesday (August 30) found that slightly more than half, or 50.2 per cent, of Rome residents are in favour of hosting the 2024 Games.
Less than one in four, or 36.2 per cent, said they are against the idea.
Among residents of the Province of Rome, 51.9 per cent are in favour, while 32.5 per cent are against.
Should the Rome effort proceed and triumph, its bid leader Luca Cordero di Montezemolo has vowed to step aside.
"For me I've always said and I repeat today that an instant after the allocation of the Olympics, I'll take care of the other," he told La Repubblica.
“I have no intention of following the organisational phase.
“It would not be neither fair nor appropriate."
Rome is locked in a four-horse race for the 2024 Games with Budapest, Los Angeles and Paris.
A decision is due to be made at the 2017 IOC Session in Lima.