ROME, Sept. 21 (Xinhua) -- Rome mayor Virginia Raggi on Wednesday announced the Italian capital was withdrawing its bid to host the 2024 Olympic games.
The decision was mainly based on financial and corruption risk concerns.
The investments and costs needed to successfully host such a big event would be too high for the debt-ridden city, according to Raggi.
"Saying yes to this candidacy would be irresponsible. Around one billion euros (1.12 billion U.S. dollars) of Rome's current debts still derives from the 1960 Olympics," she told a press conference.
Anti-establishment Five Star Movement's (M5S) Raggi was elected mayor in June on a platform that openly opposed the bid for the Olympics.
The city had already formed a committee to support its candidacy, after Prime Minister Matteo Renzi in December 2014 had announced the city would run for the 2024 Olympic Games.
Yet, Raggi seemed to have the support of many citizens of Rome, and in the mayoral runoff against ruling center-left Democratic Party (PD) candidate Roberto Giachetti, who was in favor of hosting the Olympics, she scored a landslide victory.
"We have not changed our minds, and we do not want to put Rome's future at stake," the mayor explained.
"(Hosting) these Olympics would mean making more debt, and we do not forget the money required belongs to the Roman citizens."
Raggi specified neither she, nor the M5S, had anything against sports or the Olympics.
"Sport is an integral part of our political program, but we do not want it to be a pretext for the city to be engulfed again by concrete."
"Other major cities took this same step out of concern that hosting the Games would not be sustainable, or really benefit their communities after all," she added, citing Madrid, Hamburg, and Boston as examples.
Finally, corruption risk was another major concern behind the decision. A huge government corruption scandal dubbed "Mafia Capitale" in the Italian capital which came to light in December 2014, has since swamped a number of public officers, officials, and entrepreneurs.
Raggi, along with other M5S representatives, expressed doubt Rome could face all the construction works and projects required to host the Olympics without fuelling further corruption.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) will announce which city will host the 2024 Olympics in September 2017. After Rome's withdrawal, only Paris, Budapest, and Los Angeles have remained in the running.
Prime Minister Mario Monti's government in 2012 had already scrapped Rome's candidacy for the 2020 Games due to financial worries.
Rome's city council is to officially vote on the decision announced by Raggi next week, according to local media.
Giovanni Malago, the president of the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI), had already announced the bid would not proceed without the support of the mayor.