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23 February 2017, 12:52 | Simon Arnold
Reuters reported on Wednesday that Hungary pulled the bid, leaving L.A. and Paris as the final two cities contending to host the Games.
Fidesz, the governing party, said the decision was made to avoid "a loss of global prestige" as the bid had a very small chance of success.
This bidding cycle has already seen Rome; Hamburg, Germany; and Boston withdraw over concerns about the costs associated with staging the mega-sporting event.
It leaves Paris and Los Angeles as the two cities left in the running.
The third candidate in the host city race has encountered sizable public resistance from a Hungarian political group that collected some 266,000 signatures to force a referendum on the issue. Such a decision would reward two strong bids and also buy the International Olympic Committee some time to rethink its bidding process before again asking cities to throw their hats in the ring. Organizers had not been particularly optimistic-as bid chairman Balazs Furjes bleakly observed earlier this week, "This ship has sailed, it seems".
There has been speculation that both cities could ultimately win a bid, however, with one city getting the 2024 Games and the other claiming the 2028 Olympics.
In our story last weekend, we mentioned that Budapest Mayor Istvan Tarlos was hinting at a withdrawal, but that he wanted to get the input of the government and the Hungarian Olympic Committee before meeting with the Budapest City Assembly.
Wednesday's council resolution is due to authorise Tarlos to discuss the bid with the national government and Olympic committee.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) will elect the victor at a vote in Lima, Peru, in September 2017.
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