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Saturday September 15, 2018 - Email this article to a friend

The Italian joint bid has descended into bitter rivalry & appears to be over. It follows the withdrawal of Japan in Sapporo earlier this week. PlanetSKI reports.

A senior Italian official has said the joint bid from Turin, Milan and Cortina is "dead".

Giancarlo Giorgetti, the under secretary for Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, has said the differences between the hosts can not be resolved.

Some sources claim Turin has actually withdrawn but this cannot be confirmed.

Milan and Cortina are indicating they might put forward a joint bid without Turin.

At the moment the picture is a confusing one.

"I think that with an important thing like an Olympic bid, a spirit of agreement must prevail and I have not found that in the three cities," said Giorgetti said to an Italian newsagency, ANSA.

"That's why the Government does not think that the bid as formulated up to now can go any further."

"This type of proposal does not have the support of the Government.'

"It is dead."

Earlier this week, as expected the Japanese city, Sapporo, ended its bid for the 2026 Winter Olympics.

It follows withdrawals from Switzerland & Austria.

The announcement was made following a meeting between the President of the International Olympic Committee, Thomas Bach, officials from the Japanese Olympic Committee and representatives from Sapporo.

The meeting took place at IOC headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland.

The official reason was the recent earthquake in the Hokkaido region of the country where Sapporo is the capital.

"The IOC expressed its understanding that recovery from the earthquake in the region should be the immediate principle focus but greatly appreciated the continued strong commitment as a future host for the Olympic Winter Games," said a statement from the IOC after the meeting.

41 people died in the 6.7 magnitude earthquake.

However reports and rumours of the withdrawal of Sapporo have been circulating for many months with speculation that the city wants to concentrate its bid on 2030 Winter Olympics instead.

Some question the earthquake as the sole reason.

It follows withdrawals from the 2026 Games from Innsbruck in Austria and Sion in Switzerland.

These, though, were the results of votes in referendums going against a bid.

There had been concerns that if Sapporo went for 2026 and won then there would be four consecutive Summer and Winter Games in Asia - Pyeongchang in 2018, Tokyo in 2020 and Beijing in 2022.

If Sapporo goes for 2030 it could be up against a bid from the USA.

So, where does this leave the 2026 bidding process?

Calgary in Canada remains in contention though there are significant concerns about the public actually wanting The Games and there is a referendum planned for November.

The joint Italian bid from involving Milan, Turin and Cortina d'Ampezzo has descended into in-fighting.

While there remain security concerns about a bid from Erzurum in Turkey due to its proximity to Syria

Stockholm in Sweden is pushing ahead but there are fears over a lack of political support in the Swedish capital.

The International Olympic Committee will confirm the shortlist at its session in Buenos Aires next month.

A final decision will be taken in 2019.

See here for the main PlanetSKI news page with all the latest stories from the mountains.

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