Britain to bid for 2018 World Cup

FA chief executive Brian Barwick has confirmed "serious consideration" is being given to a bid by Britain for the 2018 World Cup...

 FIFA has already ruled out any possibility of bidding for the 2014 finals as it has already decided that tournament will be held in South America.

"2018 is the first obvious opportunity for a European country to host the competition," said Barwick.

"We are clearly giving some serious consideration to putting together a bid for the tournament. The prospect of England hosting World Cup 2018 was recently welcomed by FIFA president Sepp Blatter.

"I certainly feel that the World Cup in 2018 is the one to target - not 2014 as erroneously suggested in reports.

"Obviously, a World Cup in this country would be a fantastic occasion and every English football fan would love to see the world's best players gracing our stadia. But at this stage the deadline for a 2018 bid is still several years away."

Tessa Jowell, the secretary of state with responsibility for sport, believes a sense of "national self-confidence" that has sprung from London's 2012 Olympic victory could help an England bid for the 2018 World Cup.

Jowell said: "We are in a different place on the world stage now in relation to sport and the sense of national self-confidence about our ability to hold the world's great sporting events is unbounded.

"We can host a World Cup, we can host a world athletics championships and other world-class sporting events on the back of the Olympics and I hope very much we do.

"It is impossible to launch a bid like this unless there is very clear and strong government support. The FA are quite rightly at a very early stage of taking soundings."

Blatter earlier this month said he would welcome a bid from "the homeland of football" for 2018.

"I would say yes, they should bid - it is the homeland of football," said Blatter.

"They are building stadia and other facilities for the Olympics, Wembley is almost finished and maybe they would be used for a World Cup bid."