Rome's ancient Colosseum has seen many sporting contests, but 2020 Olympic Games will not be one of them (Reuters/Tony Gentile)

Italy is scrapping its bid for Rome to host the 2020 Olympic Games because it is too poor.

The eurozone country is suffering an unprecedented financial crisis and its cost of borrowing is very high, for a time surpassing the "unsustainable" seven percent mark.

Its credit rating has also been downgraded by Moody's to A3.

Italian Premier Mario Monti told his government that the country could not afford to finance an Olympic Games and that it would be "irresponsible" to put such a burden on taxpayers.

Estimates suggest the cost of hosting the games in Rome would be around €10bn (£8.3bn).

The deadline for formal submission of bid files to host the 2020 Olympic Games is 15 February, ahead of a decision on the host city by the International Olympic Committee in 2013.

Contenders include Baku in Azerbaijan, Doha in Qatar, Turkey's Istanbul, Madrid in Spain and Japan's Tokyo.