Italy targets trio of major international events

Fri Dec 5, 2014 2:52pm EST
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By Jacopo Lo Monaco

ROME (Reuters) - Italy has set its sights on hosting three major international events -- golf's Ryder Cup in 2022, the rugby World Cup in 2023 and the Olympic Games in 2024.

The Italians on Thursday announced they were lining up a bid for the rugby World Cup backed by Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi and National Olympic Committee (CONI) president Giovanni Malago ahead of the Catholic Jubilee in 2025.

The success of brothers Francesco and Edoardo Molinari has boosted interest in golf in Italy and the president of the sport's Italian federation, Franco Chimenti, is preparing to present an official bid to host the Ryder Cup.

The Molinaris were selected for the 2010 Ryder Cup team that beat the United States in Wales and Francesco won the 1/2 point that allowed Europe to win outright two years later at Medinah.

"It's not as foolish an idea as one might think," Chimenti said referring to Italy's intention to bid. "If we play our cards right we could win this (bidding contest)."

The Marco Simone Golf & Country Club, just outside Rome, has been selected to host the event should the bid succeed.

Italy would face competition from Germany, Turkey, Spain, Denmark, Portugal and Austria to host the biennial event.