Giovanni Malago will chair the key CONI meeting tomorrow ©Getty Images

A proposal over which city will lead Italy's bid to host the 2026 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games due to be made tomorrow could be postponed as negotiations continue behind the scenes over the best plan to put forward.

An Italian National Olympic Committee (CONI) Executive Board meeting is due to be held tomorrow morning in Rome before a General Assembly later in the day.

It has been proposed that one out of Milan, Turin and Cortina d'Ampezzo would be chosen at these meetings before being proposed to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) when it decides on official candidates in October.

It is now possible, however, that a final decision will not be made later in the year because CONI claim they need more time to study the three feasibility studies presented by each of the contenders last week.

It follows the Italian Government finally granting its backing for the bid last week, while leaving it up to CONI - which effectively acts as the country's Sports Ministry - to make the final decision. 

"The General Assembly will take into consideration the decision of the Government and decide the best solution or pathway towards an Italian bid for 2026," a CONI spokesperson told insidethegames today.

They added that, if a city is not chosen tomorrow, a final choice would be made in a matter of weeks rather than months.

Milan Mayor Giuseppe Sala is not confident a choice will be made tomorrow ©Getty Images
Milan Mayor Giuseppe Sala is not confident a choice will be made tomorrow ©Getty Images

Milan Mayor Giuseppe Sala said today that he was "not at all optimistic" that a choice will be made tomorrow.

Milan, which has never hosted the Olympic Games before, is widely believed to be the preferred choice of CONI.

It is viewed as a less divisive choice than Turin, whose City Council is the divided over whether to bid, while their plan is also believed to be more in line with the Italian Government's demand for a cheap and sustainable campaign.

Turin also has powerful backers, though, while Cortina is largely seen as an outsider. 

It is likely that the ideal solution from CONI's perspective would be for a Milan-led bid which holds some events, such as a sliding course, in existing facilities in and around Turin.

Turin officials, though, are showing no willingness to comply so far and insist that the bid will either be centered around the city or not taking place there at all.

Present plans are for Milan to use an existing sliding facility in St Moritz over the Swiss border.