Olympics: Berlin begins quest to host 2024 summer Games

BERLIN (AFP) - Berlin will on Monday launch a campaign to host either the 2024 or 2028 summer Games - 78 years after Germany's capital last hosted an Olympics.

Organisers hope to call the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic summer Games the "Berlympics" if the bid is successful.

Under the slogan "We want to play", the city of Berlin will start a social media campaign as part of an initiative backed by 30 companies and 70 individuals, although the capital faces competition from German rival Hamburg.

Last week, the German Olympic Sports Confederation (DSOB) decided to bid for the games in 2024, or 2028 if the earlier bid fails, with a decision on whether Berlin or Hamburg will be their preferred candidate expected on March 21 next year.

"There is no doubt Germany will present a strong application, regardless of which city is chosen as a candidate," an IOC spokesman was quoted as saying by SID, an AFP subsidiary.

"The sports world knows Germany can not only organise events excellently, it can also create a wonderful atmosphere for athletes and fans."

Once the DSOB has decided which city is its candidate, a referendum will be held to seek the support of the local population.

A DSOB bid must be submitted by the end of 2015 and the International Olympic Committee will award the 2024 Games on Sept 17, 2017.

Germany hosted both the 1936 summer Games in Berlin and the winter Games of the same year in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, while Bavaria's capital Munich hosted the 1972 summer Games.