Pescante to Lead Rome 2020 Bid as Ferrari Chief Snubs Chance

February 22, 2011

Rome’s bid to host the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics will be led by former Italian Sports Minister Mario Pescante, after Ferrari President Luca di Montezemolo has turned down the opportunity to lead the bid.

Pescante, 72, is the vice-president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), and according to officials, is set to be formally confirmed as President of Rome 2020 on Wednesday, February 23.

Ferrari chief Montezemolo, who organised Italy’s 1990 FIFA World Cup and has been chairman of Fiat, was proposed as a bid head last week but said he would only take the job if there was enough financial and Government support.

Mayor of Rome, Gianni Alemanno stated: “I’m sorry that Luca di Montezemolo has decided there are not the conditions to accept the role. He was a very good candidate. 

“We are now working together with the Government and Italian National Olympic Committee (CONI) to find a chairman with a profile different from someone with an entrepreneurial background, which will be presented officially on Wednesday at the States General of the city of Rome.”

Pescante, a member of the IOC since 1994, is a professor who was Italy’s Sports Minister between 2001 and 2006 and was closely involved in the organisation of the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin as the Italian Government Supervisor.

The Ferrari boss is not the first to have turned down the opportunity after Nerio Alessandri, the founder of London 2012 sponsor Technogym, had also turned down the job, meaning Pescante will be the third choice to head Rome’s campaign to bring the Olympics back to the Italian capital for the first time since 1960.

Gianni Petrucci, President of CONI, claimed that Pescante was the right person to lead the bid: “He is a good choice because he has a high-profile in sports and has followed the ideals of the Olympic Movement all his life,” he said.