Two remain as Budapest withdraws 2024 Olympics bid

Balázs Fürjes Chairman of Budapest 2024 speaking at the opening of the Visitors’ Centre in Budapest

Hungary is reportedly withdrawing its bid to host the summer Olympics in 2024.

Hungary's governing party Fidesz said Wednesday the decision to drop the bid came to avoid "a loss of worldwide prestige" for the country, according to The Associated Press. The withdrawal of Budapest's candidacy means that for the second straight bid cycle the IOC will decide the host of the Olympic Games from two candidate cities.

It leaves Paris and Los Angeles as the two cities left in the running. Last week an anti-Olympics group announced they had collected enough signatures to put withdrawing the bid up for a citywide referendum.

As the necessary unity in Budapest has been lost, the bid of Budapest lost all of its chances, the government said.

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The chairman of Budapest's bid, Balazs Furjes, pushed for a quick decision.

"I like it that people are talking in this way about the Olympic candidature procedure", Bach told The Associated Press there.

Budapest has been vying with powerhouses Paris and Los Angeles for the right to host the summer Games, after Hamburg - following a referendum - and Rome dropped out, both citing financial concerns.

"The USOC board does not foresee pursuing any bid other than for the 2024 Games", read minutes released from a USOC board of directors meeting in December, first reported last month by the Los Angeles Times. The French capital has pledged "the most sustainable Games ever", while President Donald Trump's Muslim travel restrictions may cause members of the International Olympics Committee (IOC) to sour on L.A.'s bid ahead of the body's September 13 vote in Lima.

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