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Budapest 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Bid Axed

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President of the Hungarian Olympic Committee Zsolt Borkai, left, Chairman of the Budapest 2024 bid Balazs Furjes, second left, and Budapest Mayor Istvan Tarlos, right, pose in front of the logo of host city candidate Budapest for the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Photo: AP

Budapest’s bid for the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games has been withdrawn according to a Government spokesman.

According to Reuters, politician Zoltan Kovacs said the decision had been made following a meeting today between Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, the city’s Mayor Istvan Tarlos and the Hungarian Olympic Committee (MOB).

Opposition had been mounting against the bid with campaign group Momentum Mozgalom officially submitting forms containing 266,151 signatures to the Budapest Election Committee seeking a referendum on whether the bid should continue.

“For Budapest and Hungary the Olympics is a national issue,” a government statement printed on the MTI news agency said.

“In recent months, the earlier unity has broken down and the issue of the Olympics has turned from a national issue into a party issue.

“Opposition parties are responsible for this, those who backtracked on their earlier decision (to back the bid).”

It means only Paris and Los Angeles remain in the race to host the Games.

Budapest 2024 officials said they are refusing to comment until either the Government or MOB make a statement.

However, the profile picture on the bid’s Facebook page did change to a design featuring their logo on a black background.

It means only Paris and Los Angeles remain in the race to host the Games.

Budapest is not the first bid to pull out of the race with Rome and Hamburg both withdrawing bids for the Games.

The latter saw their bid collapse in November 2015 when a referendum in the city saw residents vote 51.6 percent against the plans.

In October, Rome’s bid was “suspended” after the Italian capital’s new Mayor Virginia Raggi refused to support it.

A vote is set to be taken on who will win hosting rights at the International Olympic Committee Session in Lima on September 13.

By Daniel Etchells

Republished with permission from insidethegames.biz

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