Mayor: Madrid to focus on 2018 World Cup bid

MADRID - Madrid will focus on trying to help Spain's bid to host the 2018 World Cup finals after failing to win the vote for the 2016 Summer Olympics, mayor Alberto Ruiz-Gallardon said on Saturday.

Madrid lost out to Rio de Janeiro in Friday's final Olympic vote in Copenhagen but Spain is also bidding to stage the 2018 World Cup together with neighbours Portugal.

"The Spanish soccer federation helped us try to get the Olympics and we will now support the federation so they can get the World Cup," Ruiz-Gallardon told reporters on his return to Madrid airport.

"After that we will start thinking about future goals. Our candidacy for (the) 2020 (Olympics) will not be decided this year, or the next, it will be discussed in 2011."

Madrid also bid for the 2012 Summer Games, finishing third behind Paris and winners London.

The Italian Olympic Committee said on Friday that their country was ready to bid for the 2020 Olympics.

The mayor of Venice immediately put his city forward while Rome officials have also expressed interest.