ROME (AP) — IOC President Thomas Bach offered his encouragement Monday to a possible Rome bid for the 2024 Olympics, saying the Italian capital would be a "very strong contender."
Rome, which hosted the 1960 Games, pulled out of the bidding for the 2020 Olympics when the Italian government refused to provide financial backing. No decision has yet been made on whether to bid for 2024.
"It's not a secret, a Rome bid for the 2024 Games would be very strong," Bach told a Rome conference celebrating the centenary of the Italian Olympic Committee. "Italy is a country with a great passion for sport and great athletes and is efficient in hospitality and organization.
"It would be a very strong bid which would have the sympathy of a lot of people, not only in the Olympic family but inside the whole movement."
A Rome bid could face competition from Paris; Doha, Qatar; Istanbul, Turkey, and cities from the United States, Germany and South Africa.
Bids will be submitted to the IOC next year, and the host city will be selected in 2017.
Bach also said the International Olympic Committee is looking at shaking up the bid procedure in the future.
"We need to change philosophy," he said. "In the past we needed to build many stadiums with huge capacity and with so many technical procedures to respect.