Milan Cortina 2026 President Giovanni Malagò, right, has insisted the Organising Committee remains "deeply committed" to its goals ©ANOC/YouTube

Milan Cortina 2026 President Giovanni Malagò has insisted here that the Organising Committee remains "deeply committed" in its work, despite delays to sweeping structural reforms due to political changes in Italy.

Brothers of Italy's Giorgia Meloni became the country's Prime Minister after elections held last month - the third person to have held the position since Milan and Cortina d'Ampezzo won the right to stage the Winter Olympics and Paralympics in 2026 - and widely considered Italy's most right-wing leader since Benito Mussolini.

Among the planned changes to the Organising Committee is the appointment of a new chief executive to replace Vincenzo Novari, with Andrea Abodi, the President of National Italian Bank Institute for Sports Credit, viewed as the favourite.

Malagò confirmed at the Association of National Olympic Committees General Assembly in Seoul that changes had been impacted by last month's general election, but that Meloni's Government is expected to play a more prominent role in the build-up to the Games in less than four years' time.

Delivering the Milan Cortina 2026 report via video link, Malagò, who is also President of the Italian National Olympic Committee and an International Olympic Committee (IOC) member, outlined the reforms.

"As you may have heard, we are waiting for some crucial changes to introduce a more important role for the Italian Government in our organisation for 2026," he said.

"The main change is that the CEO [chief executive] of the OCOG [Organising Committee of the Olympic Games] will now be appointed by the Italian Prime Minister after consultation with all our stakeholders and the territories - the Lombardy region, the Veneto region the Autonomous Provinces of Trento and Bolzano and the Municipalities of Milan and Cortina d'Ampezzo.

"In order to comply with the new governance model, the OCOG's Statutes will be amended upon proposal of the new CEO and approval by the Italian National Olympic Committee, the Italian National Paralympic Committee, the Italian Prime Minister, the host regions, cities and provinces."

"Italy went through the political elections on September 25, and this postponed the changes to be put in place, so the new CEO, although the name has basically already been agreed by all the partners, has still to be officially announced."

New far-right Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni is set to play a key role in the build-up to Milan Cortina 2026, including appointing a new chief executive ©Getty Images
New far-right Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni is set to play a key role in the build-up to Milan Cortina 2026, including appointing a new chief executive ©Getty Images

However, Malagò reiterated Milan Cortina 2026's desire to stage "a successful and unforgettable edition of the Games".

"In the meantime, the OCOG carries out its activities compliant with the original Statutes," he said.

"I can assure all of you that everybody in the structure, we are now 140 people in the team, is deeply committed in going ahead with their duties in order not to delay the fulfilment of our goals.

"The meetings with the IOC, IPC [International Paralympic Committee] and International Federations are regularly taking place.

"The key priorities are clear, and each functional area is working hard to comply with the masterscale deadlines.

"As you know, our Games include a vast area, and we know at the same time how important it is to communicate with the National Olympic Committees (NOCs) in the best possible way.

"We want to have a constructive and continuous dialogue that will allow us to prepare for the right conditions to welcome the athletes, some of the most iconic winter sports venues in the world."

NOC visits to Milan Cortina 2026 venues are due to begin on November 14 this year.

Preparations for the Winter Olympics and Paralympics have faced financial challenges amid a rise in inflation across Europe, although Milan Cortina 2026 has named Esselunga and Randstad Italia as its first partners in recent months.